Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, Number 2, 1997

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o CO r1 05 s&„sr /t*x ^ ^




STANFORD J. LAYTON, Managing Editor

MIRIAM B MURPHY, Associate Editor




JOE L C JANETSKI, Provo, 1997

ROBERT S MCPHERSON, Blanding, 1998



GENE A. SESSIONS, Ogden, 1998

GARY TOPPING, Salt Lake City,1999


Utah Historical Quarterly was established in 1928to publish articles, documents, and reviews contributing to knowledge of Utah's history. The Quarterly is published four times a year by the Utah State Historical Society, 300 Rio Grande, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101. Phone (801)533-3500 for membership and publications information. Members of the Society receive the Quarterly, Beehive History, Utah Preservation, and thebimonthly Newsletter upon payment of theannual dues: individual, $20.00; institution, $20.00; student and senior citizen (age sixty-five or over), $15.00; contributing, $25.00; sustaining, $35.00; patron, $50.00; business, $100.00

Materials for publication should be submitted in duplicate, typed double-space, with footnotes at the end Authors are encouraged to submit material in a computer-readable form, on 3/2 inch MSDOS or PC-DOS diskettes, standard ASCII text file. For additional information on requirements contact the managing editor Articles represent the views of the author and are not necessarily those of the Utah State Historical Society

Periodicals postage ispaid at Salt Lake City, Utah.

POSTMASTER: Send address change to Utah Historical Quarterly, 300 Rio Grande, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101.



Utah: The Struggle for Statehood EDWARD LE O LYMAN

NANCYJ. TANIGUCHI. Necessary Fraud: Progressive Reform and Utah Coal DUANE A. SMITH 188

CHARLES E. RANKIN, ed. Wallace Stegner: Man and Writer . . RUSSELL BURROWS 189

CHARLES PHILLIPS and ALAN AXELROD, eds. Encyclopedia of the American West ALLAN KENT POWELL 190

ANNE M BUTLER and ON A SIPORIN Uncommon Common Women: Ordinary Lives of the West . . . LAUREL BARLOW 192

STEPHEN TCHUDI, ed. Change in the American West: Exploring the Human Dimension .... ROBERT S. MIKKELSEN 193

JAMES C FARIS. Navajo and Photography: A Critical History of the Representation of an American People BRADLEY W. RICHARDS 194

Books reviewed 187

As the advance party of Mormon pioneers began their entry into the Salt Lake Valley on July 22, 1847, General Winfield Scott was driving toward Mexico City for the last great battle of the U.S War with Mexico. Suddenly the future of Utah was tipped in a radically new direction Subsequent events have moved so rapidly that even with the benefit of historical knowledge and hindsight, today's scholars are still struggling to explain them all Perhaps this issue, dedicated to the sesquicentennial spirit, will make a modest contribution to that historiographical record.

In the first article a distinguished Utah archaeologist examines the evolution of his field during the past 150 years Looking both forward and backward from 1847, it is an especially enlightening beginning for our special issue. Its survey of methods, milestones, achievements, and personalities will appeal to readers of all interests while simultaneously reminding us that mankind called Utah home for thousands of years before those first wagons rolled out of Emigration Canyon.

And although the U.S negotiations with Mexico at Guadalupe Hidalgo had not even begun thatJuly day, the first pioneers immediately recognized the Salt Lake Valley as home and set to work at developing its agricultural potential. They had met the hazards and uncertainty of the overland trek and could revel in triumph. That spirit of success has animated many descendants through the years, fortifying their faith through powerful myths, promises, and oft-repeated tales One such group of descendants, organizing themselves into the Yellow Ochre Club in 1936, retraced that pioneer route with artistic intent and left a record of celebratory achievement that until now—in our second offering—has never been outlined.

The third selection rises to the daunting challenge ofjuxtaposing modern Salt Lake City on the valley floor of a century and a half ago in an attempt to piece together the exact route of the pioneers' last few miles It is a study to delight trail buffs, advocates of heritage tourism, current property owners, and anyone else who enjoys the resolution of antiquarian mysteries.

The final article looks at a clash of cultural values that asserted itself almost immediately after pioneer settlement as New Mexican slave traders were arrested and tried in a territorial court In examining the facts of the case and motives of both the defendants and prosecution, the author advances a number of intriguing generalizations that shed new light on an old question and illustrate the essential point that the answer to ethical questions, like historical ones, is often just a matter of perspective.

Effie Carmack's oil painting, West from Temple Hill, Nauvoo, is part of the Yellow Ochre Club's legacy. Courtesy of John K. Carmack, Salt Lake City.

150 Years of Utah Archaeology

UTAH' S RICH ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE has lured scientists and antiquarians from around the world to excavate in the deep caves of the western deserts, explore the well-preserved Anasazi ruins, and study the enigmatic and unique Fremont culture. They came with varying intent:

Dr Tanetski is the director of the Museum of Peoples and Cultures at Brigham Young University and a member of the Advisory Board of Editors of Utah Historical Quarterly. He is grateful for comments from Don Fowler, Jesse Jennings, Kevin Jones, David Madsen, and Jim O'Connell in the final preparation of this paper

Field party of Rev. H. C. Green at work in Cottonwood Canyon ca. 1891. Courtesy of Photo Archives, the Field Museum, Chicago.

150 Years of Utah Archaeology

many simply wanted to explore the rugged West; others were hired to collect objects for museums; some wanted answers to questions about the past As a consequence, the history of archaeological research in Utah tends to be eclectic However, as noted by Elmer Smith over forty years ago, the theoretical interests of Utah archaeologists in many ways mirror national trends.1 This continues to be the case as Utah archaeologists have been and continue to be very much a part of the regional, national, and international archaeological community.

Smith, writing in the days when archaeological practitioners were few, traced the history of the discipline by describing the research activities of the faculty at the University of Utah (U of U). Today, archaeological work has expanded dramatically with active research being done by all the major universities in the state, the Utah Division of State History (Utah State Historical Society), various federal agencies, and several private archaeological contracting firms The number of professionals has increased greatly as has the amount of archaeological data generated and reported. This explosion of personnel and data makes writing a history more difficult for the recent period (post-1980 especially) and requires a much broader scope than was necessary forty years ago. The structure of this history is chronological, although I have attempted to characterize the prevailing interests and the significant contributions of the period.


Antiquarian interests, observations, and speculations characterize this early era. Early archaeological information isvery sketchy and primarily incidental After the mid-nineteenth century the several organized government expeditions sent west to identify transportation routes and exploitable resources included members who were interested in the aboriginal people and the remains of their past lifeways Few excavations were made and fewer still were reported in any detail

The primary contribution of this period is the initial identification of highly visible concentrations of ruins.

The earliest written description of archaeological sites in the state was made in 1776 by the renowned Spanish explorers, Fathers Dominguez and Escalante, who traveled from Santa Fe, New Mexico, north into western Colorado and into the Uinta Basin of northern

1 Elmer Smith, "Utah Anthropology, an Outline of Its History," Southwestern Lore 16 (1950): no. 2, 22-23

Utah. Their detailed journal contains priceless descriptions of the countryside and its inhabitants. Included is a description of ruins near the confluence of the Uinta and Duchesne rivers:

We continued upstream along the latter [the Duchesne River] and after going west one league we saw ruins near it of a very ancient pueblo where there were fragments of stones for grinding maize, of jars and of pots of clay The pueblo's2 shape was circular, as indicated by the ruins now almost completely in mounds.3

Dominguez and Escalante traveled on to the Wasatch Front and south to the Virgin River drainage before returning to Santa Fe, but they had little more to say about archaeology in Utah. Few data of an archaeological nature were recorded in the first half of the nineteenth century until shortly after the Mormon arrival in 1847. Settlers who encountered archaeological ruins occasionally described them in journals and letters. Perhaps one of the most intriguing and detailed early descriptions of ruins was by Brigham Young, who, in a letter dated to 1851, described what he saw at Paragoonah (later Paragonah) in Parowan Valley north of present day Cedar City:


. . We visited the ruins of an ancient Indian village on Red Creek, where we found quantities of broken, burnt, painted earthenware, arrow points, adobes, burnt brick, a crucible, some corn grains, charred cobs, animal bones, and flint stones of various colors. The ruins were scattered over a space about two miles long and one wide. The buildings were about 120 in number, and were composed apparently of dirt lodges, the earthen roofs having been supported by timbers, which had decayed or been burned, and had fallen in, the remains thus forming mounds of an oval shape and sunken at the tip One of the structures appeared to have been a temple or council hall, and covered about an acre of ground.4

These Parowan Valley sites were to be investigated many times during the coming decades.

Government exploration of the Four Corners region in southeastern Utah commenced at about the same time as Mormon settlement in the north. Between 1849 and the late 1870s James H. Simpson, J. N. Macomb, J. S. Newberry, William H. Jackson,

2 Th e use of the term "pueblo" should no t be construed to mean that the site is related to the Anasazi Pueblo is Spanish for town, and all ruins were called towns

3 Ted J Warner, ed., The Dominguez-Escalante fournal: Their Expedition Through Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico in 1776, translated by Fray Angelico Chavez (Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1976), p 47 Interestingly, this ruin has not been relocated

4 Manuscript History of the Church, History of Brigham Young, Microfilm o n file, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, 1851, pp 46-47

102 Utah Historical Quarterly

Ferdinand V Hayden, William H Holmes, and others traveled the Four Corners area discovering and documenting many Anasazi sites in southeastern Utah and the Mesa Verde region of southwestern Colorado.5 Noted photographer William H.Jackson, for example, photographed ruins at Hovenweep and other sites in the Montezuma Canyon vicinity. In 1869 and 1871-72 John W. Powell made his two historic trips down the Green and Colorado rivers taking notes on the geology and Native Americans, including some observations on archaeological sites.6 Most of the work by government employees consisted of reconnaissance for reasons other than archaeology, although descriptions often include archaeological sites, and some collections were made.

An exception is the work of Mark Severance and H. C. Yarrow who in 1872 and 1874 excavated sites at Beaver and Provo during a U.S. Geological Survey expedition led by Lt. George Wheeler. Severance and Yarrow seemed most interested in collecting human remains, although they provided provocative descriptions of mounds excavated in Provo and Parowan Valley. At the latter location (described earlier by Brigham Young above) they estimated that there were "400-500 mounds." Of the mounds at Provo they stated:

West of the town, on its outskirts and within three or four miles of the lake, are many mounds, of various construction and in different states of preservation Mounds of various sizes and shapes, in different parts of the plain, were dug into and examined, and these miscellaneous bones [were] found at all depths and in every mound entered, scattered without order, and without evidence of careful arrangement or systematic distribution.7

As part of their research they questioned local Utes about the mound s and were told: "The (Utes) say that their oldest men remember them in youth, and that their fathers had told them nothing in regard to them."8 Pottery and broken bones (animal?) were found in the Provo mounds, but few other details were offered

Severance and Yarrow also dug three historic Southern Paiute buri-

5 For a good review of the early history of archaeology in the Four Corners area, see Joh n Otis Brew, Archaeology of Alkali Ridge, Southeastern Utah, Paper s of th e Peabod y Museu m of America n Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol XXI (Cambridge: Harvard University, 1946)

6 Joh n W Powell, The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons (New York: Dover Publications, 1961)

7 Mark S Severance and H C Yarrow, "Notes Upo n Huma n Crania and Skeletons Collected by th e Expedition s of 1872-73, " United States Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian, Archaeology, 7(1879):393

8 Ibid, p 395 These comment s presage on e of th e most intriguing (and unresolved) research issues in Utah prehistory: Was there cultural continuity between the Fremont farmers and moder n indigenous peoples?

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 103

als at Beaver and near Gunnison, Utah, collected a "mummified cranium" from a "rock grave" similar in construction to those examined at Beaver. The full extent of the collections made by Severance and Yarrow is unknown.

These initial explorations and observations identified locations of productive archaeological sites or regions in the state. This knowledge was used to direct the numerous intensive artifact collecting expeditions that characterized archaeological interests over the next few decades


The early part of this period was still largely exploratory, although the expeditions became more focused on finding sites that would produce "relic" collections. Large museums—the Peabody at Harvard and the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, both in New York, and others— sponsored expeditions specifically to gather collections for display and study. Little attention was given to documentation or the publication of findings

Active in Utah during this time was Edward Palmer, a medical practitioner and professional collector, who visited Utah primarily in the late 1870s, gathering up archaeological and ethnographic artifacts. Funded by the Smithsonian, he excavated in "mounds" at Santa Clara near St George, Kanab, Paragonah, and Payson and made ethnographic collections of the Southern Paiutes.9 The driving force behind Palmer's collecting activity was preparation for exhibits at the 1876 United States Centennial celebration to be held in Philadelphia. In a letter to the Smithsonian, he mentioned that he had "four applicants for these specimens," meaning that he was also acquiring items for other collecting institutions.10 The list included the Peabody Museum, and some portions of the collections excavated from the Santa Clara sites and Payson went there.

Palmer visited Payson in part to explore a rumor that a local farmer had opened a mound in his field and found the skeleton(s) of a giant over six feet tall holding metal weapons that crumbled to dust

10 Ibid, p 20

104 Utah Historical Quarterly
9 Don D Fowler and Joh n F Matley, "The Palmer Collection from Southwestern Utah, 1875," in Miscellaneous Collected Papers 19-24 (Miscellaneous Paper No 20), Anthropological Papers No. 99 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1978), pp 17-42

when touched In addition, the story went, the mound was reported to have contained two sealed stone boxes filled with wheat. Palmer was unable to confirm the story. His research led him to conclude that those who had occupied the mounds "must be classed with the Pueblo tribes,"11 a conclusion of cultural affiliation that remained largely unchanged for nearly seventy-five years.

During the 1890s antiquities collecting intensified due to the search for material to exhibit at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago In preparation for its exhibit, the Utah Territorial World's Fair Commission appointed Don Maguire of Ogden as chief of the Department of Archaeology and Ethnology. His credentials included working with John Wesley Powell and university training in geology, which was his primary interest.12 Given this grand title, Maguire proceeded with great energy to excavate sites, usually mounds, to collect antiquities for exhibition in the Utah Pavilion. He dug at archaeological sites near Willard, Plain City, and other sites in or near Ogden, at Provo and Payson in Utah Valley, and at the massive Paragonah site described earlier. He spent two weeks excavating at Paragonah, assisted by five helpers and two teams of horses. The latter were used to remove topsoil overlying artifact-bearing layers. He reported finding walls "four feet thick" encircling a courtyard seventyfive feet square. Along the north wall of this courtyard he encountered a pile of skeletons of men, women, and children "thrown there without any aim at order" by, he presumed, their assailants.13 After his assault on Paragonah, Maguire traveled on to productive excavations along the Santa Clara and Virgin rivers near St. George. He later trekked to Nine-Mile Canyon and San Juan County, acquiring antiquities by excavation as well as purchase.

Another 1890s view of the Paragonah site comes from Henry Montgomery, professor of natural history at the University of Utah. At about the same time as Maguire was making his collections for the Chicago World's Fair, Montgomery visited ruins in Nine Mile Canyon, the Nephi Mounds (which he called Mason City), sites in Beaver, Utah, Millard, and Tooele counties, southeastern Utah, Paragonah, etc. In fact, he excavated at Paragonah at the same time as Maguire. Montgomery contrasted his careful excavation techniques using

11 Fowler and Matiey, "The Palmer Collection," p 23

12 Charles Kelly, "Don Maguire - Pioneer," Utah Motorist, April 1933, pp 8-9

13 Don Maguire, "Report of the Department of Ethnology, Utah World's Fair Commission," in Utah at the World's Columbian Exposition (Salt Lake City: Press of the Salt Lake Lithographing Co., 1894), p 110

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 105

"shovel, trowel, and brush" with the horse-powered "plough and scraper" of Maguire. In apparent reference to Maguire's "pile of skeletons," Montgomery mentioned the remains "of several human skeletons" uncovered by Maguire, but stated that they were three feet beneath the floor of a house. All of this attention to the mounds was not lost on the local Mormon settlers in Paragonah for whom "digging in the Indian mounds" was an activity for the entire community.14 Montgomery's interests went beyond making collections, however He was particularly interested in architecture and was intrigued by the adobe buildings that he found in the central and northern part of the state. He commented on the uniformity of houses and other artifacts throughout the area and lumped the pottery-making, house-building people of Utah and the Four Corners area. He saw all as peripheral to the greater civilizations of Mexico: "Utah being on the outskirts of the country occupied by a great nation whose headquarters were probably in Mexico, might properly be expected to be provided with a considerable number of military posts or watch stations such as those herein described."15 These comments were made following work in Nine Mile Canyon where solitary ruins perched on ridgetops are not unusual.

The tendency for ruins and other antiquities observed in the Southwest, including Utah, to be interpreted as evidence of Mexican (Aztec) presence or influence was common during the nineteenth century Frenchmen Jules Remy and Julius Brenchley, who traveled through Utah in 1853, noted that early Cedar City settlers had discovered quantities of pottery and speculated that the city was "built on the site of a considerable city belonging to the Aztecs, a people long since extinct, and once the most civilized of the two Americas."16 Throughout the Southwest, place names allude to the

106 Utah Historical Quarterly
Henry Montgomery in 1891. Courtesy of Marriott Library Manuscript Division, University of Utah. 14 A Memory Bank for Paragonah, compile d by the Betsy Topha m Cam p Daughter s of the Utah Pioneers (Provo: Community Press, 1990), p 101 15 Henr y Montgomery, "Prehistoric Man in Utah," The Archaeologist, vol. 2, no. 8 (1894), p. 340. 16 Jules Remy and Julius Brenchley, Afourney to Salt Lake City: with a Sketch of the History, Religion,

Aztecs or assume an Aztec presence: Montezuma Creek, Montezuma Valley, Aztec Ruin, Montezuma's Castle, etc. The source of this perception likely derives from assumptions of cultural connections between the elaborate southwestern societies and the powerful Aztec empire to the south, coupled with an incomplete knowledge of the details of the Spanish conquest of Mexico and the fate of the Aztecs, some of whom were thought to have fled northward with Aztec riches.17 The fact that the early farmers of Utah and the Southwest raised corn, a crop of Mexican origin, added credence to these assumptions.

Southeastern Utah was the focus of intense archaeological collecting in the 1890s. Several expeditions by Charles McLoyd and Charles Graham of southwestern Colorado were made into southeastern Utah in the early 1890s. McLoyd and Graham's brother Howard had worked earlier with the Wetherills at Mesa Verde where they developed an interest in relic hunting. McLoyd and Graham focused their efforts west of Comb Ridge in White and Lake canyons and Grand Gulch, or Grand Wash as it was often called. The collections they made, which were praised by the Illustrated American as the best in the world, went to various eastern museums. 18 In the summer of 1891 McLoyd was accompanied by the Reverend H. C. Green, a Baptist minister from Durango, Colorado, who had earlier purchased a large Grand Gulch collection from McLoyd. They traveled into Grand Gulch and apparently into adjacent canyons in their quest for "relics." Green was highly enthusiastic about their finds and later speculated that these artifacts were the most ancient in the New World.19

The Wetherill brothers, cattle ranchers on the Mancos River in southwestern Colorado, had actively explored for ruins to the east and discovered the great cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde They became interested in southeastern Utah in 1893 at the World's Fair in Chicago

and Customs of the Mormons, and an Introduction on the Religious Movement in the United States (London: W. Jeffs, 1861), p 364

17 Aztec traditions place their origins to the north, a fact noted by nineteenth-century historians. This information was not lost on white settlers moving into the Southwest who concluded ruins were left by Aztecs gradually moving to their historic hom e in the Valley of Mexico For more on this topic see William H Prescott, Conquest of Mexico (1843); Robert H Lister and Florence C Lister, Those Who Came Before: Southwest Archaeology in the National Park System (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1983)

18 Ibid.

19 For detailed background of H C Green and the disposition of the collections made see Phillips, "Archaeological Expeditions into Southeaster n Utah, " pp 104-6, an d An n Hayes, "Th e Chicago Connection: 100 Years in the Life of the H C Green Collection," in Victoria M Atkins, ed., Anasazi Basketmaker: Papers from the 1990 Wetherill-Grand Gulch Symposium, Cultural Resource Series No 24 (Salt Lake City: Bureau of Land Management, 1990), pp. 121-27.

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 107

Fortuitously, Richard Wetherill met the Hyde brothers, the wealthy heirs to the Bab-O soap fortune who were fascinated by archaeology. The Hyde brothers and Richard Wetherill organized the Hyde Exploring Expeditions and, between 1893 and 1903, thoroughly explored southeastern Utah, especially Grand Gulch.20 The collections made on those trips were usually purchased from the Wetherills by the Hyde brothers who then donated them to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The Wetherills' contribution to our understanding of the prehistory of the Southwest is significant. In Cottonwood Wash the Wetherills excavated a series of oval cists that contained mummies covered by conically shaped, coiled baskets four to five feet in diameter. They noted that no pottery was present with these remains, there was no evidence for the bow and arrow (only atlatls and atlatl darts), there was no cranial deformation, and the sandals were different Most important, Richard Wetherill noted that these features and associated artifacts were located stratigraphically below Cliff Dweller ruins. Wetherill called these earlier folks the Basketmaker, thereby establishing a relative chronology for the Anasazi. That chronology was later formalized by Alfred V. Kidder with his Pecos classification, a scheme that has persisted to the present (with some refinements).21

The activities and findings of these professional collectors in the Four Corners area did not go unnoticed by archaeologists at the U of U. As noted, Henry Montgomery traveled throughout the state excavating and making observations and collections. Byron Cummings, a professor of classical languages at the U of U, also became interested in archaeology and worked with Montgomery to increase the university's artifact holdings. He traveled to the Four Corners area several times between 1893 and 1914, excavating sites and making collections, although very little of his research was ever published.22 Cummings's contributions to Utah archaeology are twofold: he founded the Department of Archaeology at the U of U in 1914, and he trained several students who went on to become influential professionals. During his 1908 excavations at Alkali Ridge near Blanding, for example, his students included Neil Judd, A. V. Kidder, and Jesse Nusbaum, all of

108 Utah Historical Quarterly
20 Frank McNitt, Richard Wetherill: Anasazi (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1957) 21 Alfred Vincent Kidder, "Southwestern Archaeological Conference," Science68(1927):489-91. 22 However, see Byron Cummings , "Kivas of th e San Jua n Drainage, " American Anthropologist l7(1915):272-82.

whom went on to distinguished careers in archaeology. Judd and Andrew Kerr, another archaeology student at the U of U, continued investigations and collecting activity after Cummings left the university for an influential career in Arizona.Judd's contributions to Utah archaeology are great and are discussed in detail in the following section Kerr went on to Harvard and returned to Utah in 1922 His subsequent research in southeastern Utah focused on collecting objects rather than systematic research.

Collecting expeditions into Utah continued as late as the 1940s. The latest of these was sponsored by the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh in 1945 and 1946 to explore the triangular-shaped region east of the Colorado River and north of the San Juan.23

Significant contributions of this era of institutional collecting

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 109
Byron Cummings Expedition, 1909, in Tsegi Canyon, Northeast Arizona. Front row: Byron Cummings, Edgar L. Hewitt; back row: Neil Judd, Don Beauregard, John Wetherill, Doc Blum. Courtesy of C. Gregory Crampton Collection, Mariott Library Manuscript Division, University of Utah. 23 Floyd W Sharrock and Edward G Keane, Carnegie Museum Collection from Southeast Utah, Anthropological Papers No 57, Glen Canyon Series No 16 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1962).

were the popularizing or publicizing of archaeological remains and the beginnings of speculation about temporal relationships and affiliations. By the early 1900s the archaeological "hot spots" in Utah had not only been identified, they had been well explored, exploited, and, in many cases, depleted. Tragically, little documentation of site context or even site location for the collections was preserved through publication In the early 1900s information consisted mostly of archaeological lore. That lore and the few written pieces, such as Montgomery's, identified a well-traveled archaeological path through Utah leading from Willard to Utah Valley, Nephi, Kanosh, Beaver, Paragonah, Nine Mile Canyon, and various locations in southeastern and southwestern Utah By the turn of the century the scene was set for more disciplined study.


Professional archaeology in the United States was growing rapidly in the early twentieth century due to employment opportunities at major museums and the acceptance of anthropology as a university discipline.24 As a consequence, a generation of formally trained professionals entered the field and began a new era of archaeological research.

Professional interests at the turn of the century focused on understanding the time depth of New World civilizations with regional syntheses based on material traits a fundamental goal. A rapidly expanding literature reporting archaeological research in all areas of North America made such summaries possible.

Neil Judd was the first university trained archaeologist to work in the state and was an important and influential early figure in Utah archaeology. A Nebraska native, he moved to Utah where he taught public school.25 In his early twenties his interests shifted to archaeology, and between 1907 and 1911 he studied archaeology and earned a bachelor's degree under Byron Cummings at the University of Utah. Afterwards he worked at the Smithsonian as an aide and in 1913 completed a master's degree at George Washington University Between 1915 and 1920 Judd surveyed and excavated at numerous mounds in several Wasatch Front valleys and at Anasazi sites in northwestern

110 Utah Historical Quarterly
24 See Gordon Willey and Jeremy Sabloff, A History of American Archaeology, 3d ed (New York: W H Freeman and Company, 1993) for a broad view of trends in American archaeology 25 Jame s R Glenn , Register to the Papers of Neil Merton fudd (Washington, D.C : National Anthropological Archives, 1982)

Arizona and near Kanab. He spent considerable time excavating on the George Bradshaw farm at Beaver and at the now familiar Paragonah site in Parowan Valley Like Palmer, Judd concluded that the ruins he investigated along the Wasatch Front were related to the Puebloan cultures of the Southwest:

. . . [they are] definitely and directly related to those pre-Pueblo [Basketmaker] and Pueblo cultures represented by the prehistoric ruins of northern Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. These archaeological observations north of the Rio Colorado have extended far to the north and west that area known to have been inhabited by ancient Pueblo peoples.26

Several factors influenced this conclusion. He was impressed by the presence of pueblo-like, above-ground, adobe-walled houses at Beaver and Paragonah and by Palmer's description of similar structures at Payson. In addition, Judd excavated what he concluded was a kiva at Beaver (see also the discussion of Steward's research at Kanosh below). Other Puebloan influences were evident in the pottery, especially the painted bowls and corrugated ollas at the Beaver and Paragonah sites, which he described as "unquestionably Puebloan." 2 7 And, of course, the groups were, like the Puebloans, farmers.Judd's findings were very influential. Subsequent researchers working along the Wasatch continued to refer to mound sites and their associated material culture as Puebloan until the 1950s,28 despite Noel Morss's important research along the Fremont River which differentiated between farming societies in that area and the Anasazi (see below).29

Professional activitywas continued in 1920 byJesse Nusbaum, who had developed an interest in the Southwest through his work with Edgar Lee Hewitt (an early southwestern archaeologist) and Byron Cummings. Nusbaum, now employed by the Museum of the American Indian in NewYork, excavated DuPont Cave a few miles north of Kanab. This was an important Basketmaker II cache site with several large, slablined cists containing corn, elaborate nets, square-toed sandals, a moun-

26 Neil M. Judd , Archaeological Observations North of the Rio Grande, Bulletin No. 82, Bureau of American Ethnology (Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution, 1926), p 152

27 Ibid., p 26

28 See for example, Julian H Steward, "Early Inhabitants of Western Utah, Part I—Mounds and House Types," Bulletin of the University of Utah, Vol 23, No 7, 1933; Jack R Rudy, Archeological Survey of Western Utah, Anthropological Papers No 12 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1953); and H Marie Wormington, A Reappraisal of the Fremont Culture, Proceedings No 1 (Denver: The Denver Museum of Natural History, 1955)

29 Noel Morss, The Ancient Culture of the Fremont River in Utah, Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology Vol 12, No 2 (Cambridge: Harvard University, 1931)

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 111

tain sheep horn sickle, and basketry.30 The site was aceramic and similar to other Basketmaker occupations recently found south and east of the Colorado by the Wetherills and A. V Kidder and Samuel Guernsey.31 Nusbaum's findings established pre-Puebloan occupations north of the Colorado River and provided more credibility for Judd's Puebloan characterization of farming groups along the Wasatch Front.

In the late 1920s the Peabody Museum at Harvard renewed its interest in Utah archaeology with the Claflin-Emerson Expedition.32 William H. Claflin, Jr., and Raymond Emerson were Boston businessmen interested in the American Indian. Claflin was also the curator of southeastern archaeology at the Peabody. At the suggestion of A. V. Kidder, who had done field work in southeastern Utah under Cummings, they explored the region west and north of the Colorado River in 1927 for rich archaeological areas. Encouraged by their findings, Claflin and Emerson and their wives financed four years (1928-31) of archaeological research in eastern Utah, focusing on the Green River drainage north of the

30 Jesse L. Nusbaum, A Basket Maker Cave in Kane County, Utah, Indian Notes and Monographs, Miscellaneous Series No 29, Museum of the American Indian (New York: Heye Foundation, 1922)

31 Alfred V Kidder and Samuel J Guernsey, Archaeological Explorations in Northeastern Arizona, Bulletin No 65, Bureau of American Ethnology (Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution, 1919)

32 James H Gunnerson, The Fremont Culture: A Study in Culture Dynamics on the Northern Anasazi Frontier, Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Vol 59, No 2 (Cambridge: Harvard University, 1969)

112 Utah Historical Quarterly
Member of the Claflin-Emerson Expedition documenting rock art along the Fremont River in 1928 or 1929. Courtesy of Peabody Museum, Harvard University.

juncture with the Colorado, the Fremont River, Boulder (Coombs Site), the Kaiparowits Plateau, Nine Mile Canyon, and a number of other adjacent locales.

An important consequence of the Claflin-Emerson Expedition was the research carried out by expedition member Noel Morss on the Fremont River in 1928 and 1929. Based on this work, Morss defined a new archaeological culture, the Fremont, named after the river He described the Fremont Culture as peripheral to the Southwest based on a number of material differences: "a distinctive unpainted black or gray pottery; by the exclusive use of a unique type of moccasin; by a cult of unbaked clay figurines; by abundant pictographs of distinctive types; and by a number of minor features which tended to identify it as a Southwestern culture on approximately a Basket-maker III level."33 He recognized that the Fremont economy utilized domesticated crops but also relied heavily on wild foods. He contrasted Fremont and Puebloan pottery and basketry and noted the absence of cotton and turkeys. Morss saw the Fremont Culture as extending west to the Beaver-Paragonah area and north to Nine Mile Canyon and Vernal and concluded that this area was clearly influenced by the Southwest but a pattern had evolved that was "not an integral part of the main stream of Southwestern development."34 Morss's research and his publication The Ancient Culture of the Fremont River in Utah are classics in Utah archaeology. He introduced the term Fremont which has become the generic referent for the horticultural groups north of the Colorado-Virgin river drainages. Initially, Fremont referred only to farmers on the Colorado Plateau where Morss worked.

Another member of the 1931 Claflin-Emerson Expedition was John Otis Brew, who acted as the assistant director of the project under Donald Scott that year Partially because of his experience in Utah and again partially due to suggestions from A. V Kidder, Brew initiated excavations at a series of sites on Alkali Ridge east of Blanding. His report on this project is a cornerstone of southwestern archaeology. 3 5 His interpretation of Site 13 defined the Pueblo I period (A.D. 700-900), and his probing ruminations on the various issues in southwestern archaeology are as thought-provoking today as they were nearly fifty years ago.

Shortly after Morss's research on the Fremont River, Julian H

33 Morss, The Ancient Culture of the Fremont River, p iv

34 Ibid., p. 77.

35 Brew, Archaeology of Alkali Ridge.

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 113

Steward came to the U of U as chair of the Department of Anthropology. He arrived in 1930 and remained on the faculty until 1933, although he continued his Utah research through 1935.36 His contributions to the anthropology of the Great Basin and Utah cannot be overstated. His archaeological work is overshadowed by his ethnographic research on the peoples of the Great Basin, particularly the Western Shoshone of Nevada and the Owens Valley Paiute. These studies contributed significantly to the development of Steward's cultural ecology concept, a perspective that continues to be highly influential in archaeology, as well as his notions of the structure and evolution of bands.

Steward's archaeological research during his short tenure at the U of U included excavations at mound sites near Willard, Grantsville, Provo, and Kanosh. Although today these sites are classified as Fremont, Steward, like Judd and others before him, concluded that the people who had built the houses that formed the mounds were either Puebloan or closely related groups who had not "progressed" past the Basketmaker level Steward used the label "Northern Periphery" to refer to that portion of Utah north of the Anasazi.37 The implication of this term was that Fremont cultural developments were greatly influenced by, but peripheral to, the Anasazi. (The term "Northern Periphery" was later rejected as obscuring the uniqueness and depth of Utah's prehistoric past.)38

Steward also carried out a wide-ranging reconnaissance effort in the Kanab and Glen Canyon area that was organized specifically to assist in understanding the Puebloan-like settlements north of the Anasazi.39 In addition, he excavated a series of caves around the Great Salt Lake. Based on his observations there and research in Utah Valley, Steward defined a relative (there were no absolute dating techniques at that time) cultural historical sequence that remains viable today, including the stratigraphic differentiation of Puebloan (Fremont), post-Puebloan or Promontory Culture, and the Shoshone.40 Operating

30 Smith, "Utah Anthropology."

37 Steward, "Early Inhabitants," 1933 Steward apparently borrowed the term from A V Kidder who referred to the area north of the San Jua n drainage as the "Northern Peripheral District" in his classic report of excavations at the Pecos Ruin entitled, An Introduction to the Study of Southwestern Archaeology (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1924)

38 Jack R Rudy, An Archaeological Survey of Western Utah, Anthropological Papers No 12 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1953), p 168

39 Julian H Steward, Archaeological Reconnaissance of Southern Utah, Anthropological Papers No 18, Bulletin No 128, Bureau of American Ethnology (Washington, D.C : Smithsonian Institution, 1941)

40 Julian H Steward, Ancient Caves of the Great Salt Lake Region, Bulletin No 116, Bureau of American Ethnology (Washington, D.C : Smithsonian Institution, 1937).

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with no absolute dating tools other than stratigraphy, Steward was able to "guess-date" much of the prehistory of the eastern Great Basin with unsettling accuracy. He was the first to recognize the variability in the Northern Periphery and to formalize that recognition with a model of regional variation based on material traits.41 Later adopted and altered by several scholars, that scheme remained largely intact for decades

Steward left the U of U in 1933 for a two-yearjob at Berkeley en route to a staff position at the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian in 1935.42 His departure left a void partially filled by the appointment ofJohn Gillin in 1935 During his two years at the U of U, Gillin pursued an active field program He worked first in Nine

41 Julian H Steward, Archaeological Problems of the Northern Periphery of the Southwest, Bulletin No 5 (Flagstaff: Museum of Northern Arizona, 1933)

42 Robert F Murphy, "Introduction: The Anthropological Theories of Julian H Steward," in Evolution and Ecology: Essays on Social Transformation byJulian H Steward, ed Jane C Steward and Robert F Murphy (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977), pp 5-6

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 115
Julian Steward, secondfrom right, at Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River, 1932. USHS collections, gift of Charles Kelly. Inset: Julian Stewardfrom a photograph probably taken while Steward was at the University of Utah between 1930 and 1933. Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution.

Mile Canyon and produced one of the few monographs describing the archaeology of that important region.43 In 1937 he embarked on a project in central Utahjointly sponsored by the Peabody Museum and the U of U.44 It took him to Marysvale, Ephraim, and Tooele where he excavated various mounds during the summer of 1938 He excavated square and round pit houses in and near the mounds and, like Steward and Judd, maintained the Puebloan perspective by concluding they were probably kivas. Like several scholars before him, Gillin was assisted by students and staff who went on to make substantive contributions of their own, e.g., Robert Lister (then at the University of New Mexico and later an important figure in Glen Canyon work), William Mulloy, and Carling Malouf.

With Gillin's departure, Elmer R Smith was asked to represent archaeology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and to act as the curator of the Museum of Archaeology at the U of U. Smith conceptualized a regional approach to understanding (identifying) the state's archaeological resources. During the summer of 1937 he investigated previously unknown archaeological sites and revisited well-explored ruins in the central and southern portions of the state. During his visits to these sites he made crude maps, took brief notes on his excavations, and published very preliminary reports on the work, including a suite of pressing preservation issues and research questions.45

Much of Smith's field work, however, focused on caves around the Great Salt Lake. In 1941 he tested a site known as Hands and Knees Cave near Wendover but renamed it Danger Cave after falling rocks nearly hit members of his crew. 46 Smith also spent four seasons (1938-41) excavating Deadman Cave, a sheltered site at the north end of the Oquirrh Mountains47 and worked at Black Rock II Cave near Deadman.48 Smith was absent from the university during World War

43 John Gillin, Archaeological Investigations in Nine Mile Canyon, Utah, During the Year of 1936, Bulletin of the University of Utah, Vol 28, No 11 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1938)

44 Joh n Gillin, Archaeological Investigations in Central Utah, Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology Vol 17, No 2 (Cambridge: Harvard University, 1941) The foreword to this publication was written by Donald Scott Scott, who directed the Claflin-Emerson Expedition described above, was director of the Peabody Museum and remained current in the archaeology of the Northern Periphery.

45 Elmer R Smith, Archaeological Resources of Utah, MS on file, Department of Anthropology, (Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1937)

46 Jesse D.Jennings, Danger Cave, Anthropological Papers No 27 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1957), p 45

47 Elmer R Smith, The Archaeology of Deadman Cave, Utah: A Revision, Anthropological Papers No 10 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1952)

48 David B Madsen, Black Rock Cave Revisited, Cultural Resource Series No 14 (Salt Lake City: Utah Office, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 1983).

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II; afterwards his interests were in applied anthropology rather than archaeology. He obtained detailed insights and familiarity with the archaeological resources through his statewide reconnaissance and, because of that work, provided an important transition between the more influential scholars, Julian Steward and Jesse Jennings (see below). Much of Smith's research findings appeared in the University of Utah Archaeology and Ethnology Papers, a series that he initiated and edited

At about the same time that Gillin and Smith were at the U of U, Albert Reagan arrived at Brigham Young University (BYU) and initiated an interest in local archaeology. Reagan retired in 1934 from his position with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs in Vernal to become special professor of anthropology at BYU until his death in 1936. He was an energetic field worker and a prolific, if not scientifically rigorous, writer who published numerous short articles on Utah prehistory and ethnography. His archaeological attentions were divided between his long-standing interest in the Uinta Basin and new research in Utah Valley and the Nephi mounds.49 His work is important for its detailed descriptions of sites and findings and documentation of rock art.

Professional archaeology was well established in Utah by the 1940s. Serious students had access to numerous publications on field projects The most influential contributions came from Judd and Steward, both of whom went on to brilliant, nationally prominent careers in anthropology.Judd's most notable contributions were in the archaeology of the Southwest while Steward emerged as one of the preeminent American anthropologists of the twentieth century American archaeology in the 1940s was deeply committed to detailed material studies focused on developing relative cultural chronologies However, preoccupation with such studies was coming increasingly under attack by those who felt archaeology had lost sight of the anthropological goals of understanding human behavior and cultural change. Fortuitously, radiocarbon dating was developed in the late 1940s, a discovery that revolutionized archaeology. Two very important consequences of radiocarbon dating were (1) the continentwide availability of absolute or calendar dates allowing, for the first time, the construction of regional, absolute culture chronologies and (2) the relaxing of the highly involved seriation studies, freeing archaeologists to attend to behavioral issues and the reconstruction of

49 Albert B Reagan, "Archaeological Report of Field Work Done in Utah in 1934 and 1935," Proceedings, Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters 12(1935): 50-88

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 117

prehistoric lifeways. No one was more aware of the importance of these changes and the opportunities they offered than Jesse D. Jennings, the father of Utah archaeology


Jesse D.Jennings came to the U of U in 1948 and, over the succeeding thirty years, brought stability and a fundamental understanding of the cultural history of Utah and the Great Basin region. His ability to synthesize a wealth of archaeological data in a readable and coherent fashion combined with a steady focus over his long tenure, set Jennings apart as the most influential figure in Utah archaeology. He came to the university with a wealth of field experience While pursuing graduate studies at the University of Chicago, he worked in the Midwest and Southeast, excavated at the massive Guatemalan site of Kaminaljuyu with A V Kidder, and worked for the National Park Service in the Southwest Immediately prior to his faculty appointment at Utah, he was employed by the NPS in Omaha, Nebraska.50 He brought to his position a flair for organization and logistics, high expectations for students, and a very clear vision of how archaeology should be done.

Jennings's impact on the archaeology of Utah and the Great Basin was immediate and significant. In 1949 he organized the Utah Statewide Archaeological Survey and, through a series of large-scale reconnaissance surveys that built on the preliminary work of NeilJudd, Julian Steward, and Elmer Smith, obtained a preliminary understanding of Utah's archaeological resources, including an assessment of the known and not-so-well-known regions.51 During and following this survey work he pursued excavations at sites that promised information about the prehistory of the state To insure prompt publication of research findings, he replaced the old Archaeology and Ethnology Papers series with the University of Utah Anthropological Papers

The 1950s-70s was a time of incredible archaeological activity at the U of U The all-important Danger Cave work occupied much of the early fifties, while the massive Glen Canyon project was the focus of the late fifties and early sixties Concurrent with Glen Canyon was the archaeological survey at Flaming Gorge.52 In addition, Jennings

50 See Jesse D.Jennings, Accidental Archaeologist (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1994), for a full bibliographical account.

51 See, for example, the survey work of Jack Rudy, 1953, in the western deserts of Utah

52 Kent C Day and David S Dibble, Archaeological Survey of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir Area, Wyoming-Utah, Upper Colorado Series No 9, Anthropological Papers No 65 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1963)

US Utah Historical Quarterly

personally or through graduate assistants directed excavations in all parts of the state Research tended to focus on caves (e.g., Hogup Cave, Sudden Shelter, Cowboy Cave) or Fremont structural sites (e.g., the Bear River sites, Nephi Mounds, Pharo Village, Snakerock, Median Village, and others). The work was accomplished as part of the archaeological field school program, but much was also completed as salvage or contract work. The research budget was often supplemented with grants from the National Science Foundation.

At least two projects deserve expanded treatment: the Wendover caves and Glen Canyon. These projects resulted in significant publications, concepts, or facilities developments.

Wendover Caves Project

Jennings's most influential work was done during the 1950s. The Wendover caves project was one of the earliest and perhaps the most important that he completed. The work centered on several dry caves in Utah's west desert near Wendover. The most productive was Danger Cave where excavation was begun in 1949 and completed in 1953 As noted above, Danger had been investigated earlier by Robert Heizer and Elmer Smith, but testing had been limited and poorly controlled The difficulties in excavating a large, dry cave are graphically presented byJennings in the introductory section of the Danger Cave report and exemplify his writing skills:

These caves should, in theory, have been the easiest and most readily understood sites the archaeologist could encounter Each told the same story; each was the simple, uncomplicated statement of the accumulation of cultural habitational debris in conjunction with the operation of natural forces There was nothing except layer after layer of fill lying smoothly upon one another. The very formlessness and monotony of the debris made for difficulty in understanding Dry for millennia, the colloidally fine particles of dust and ash which comprised the fill were quite unstable. In a waste heap or exposed in a face, the gray or buff fill ran in rivulets when touched or disturbed by the transmitted shock of digging anywhere in the cave Once disturbed all the fill materials flowed like water downward and outward until a precarious stabilitywas achieved. As the dust eddied in the restless air, a gray pall settled on all exposed cuts dulling the already subdued colors and obscuring contrasts between layers. 53

The wonderfully deep and artifactually rich, yet monotonous, deposits in Danger and other western desert caves provided the basis for one ofJennings's most enduring (and controversial) legacies, the

53 Jennings, Danger Cave, p 9

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Desert Culture concept The impact of this concept derived equally from archaeological materials recovered from Danger Cave and the ethnographic data generated by the earlier research of Julian Steward.54 Jennings's articulation of the highly detailed, ecologically oriented ethnography of the central Great Basin Western Shoshone with the archaeological assemblages from Danger Cave was very effective.55 To some, however, the suggestion that Great Basin prehistory was accurately characterized by Steward's Western Shoshone model or the contents of the Wendover caves was unacceptable.56 These differences led to lively debates over concepts and definitions. Jennings's own criterion for the success of the idea was the amount of research it stimulated, and that has been considerable.

The importance of the Danger Cave research, regardless of the Desert Culture concept, was and is great The radiocarbon dates obtained from the basal layers established a human presence in the Great Basin at the close of the Pleistocene.57 The controlled research on the recovered materials confirmed the reality of a hunting and gathering lifeway that endured for a very long time (about 8,000 years) over much of North America. The Danger Cave sequence encompasses the entire temporal span of pre-European cultural history in the Great Basin. The significance of the Danger Cave excavations andJennings's report was recognized by the Society of American Archaeology which published the work as a memoir.58

Glen Canyon Project

During the late 1950s archaeological research in the canyons of the Colorado River began in anticipation of the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam and the filling of the truly huge reservoir area to be called Lake Powell. From 1956 until 1963 the Glen Canyon Project, a joint effort of the U of U and the Museum of Northern Arizona,

54 Julian H Steward, Basin-Plateau Aboriginal Sociopolitical Groups, Bulletin No 120, Bureau of American Ethnology (Washington D.C : Smithsonian Institution, 1938)

55 For insightful discussions of Jennings' s use of ethnographi c data see Catherin e S Fowler, "Ethnography and Great Basin Prehistory," in Don D Fowler, ed., Models and Great Basin Prehistory: A Symposium, Publications in Social Sciences No 12 (Reno: Desert Research Institute, 1977), pp 11-48 For comment s o n the evolution of the Desert Cultur e mode l see C Melvin Aikens, Hogup Cave, Anthropological Papers No 93 (Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 1970); Jesse D.Jennings, "The Short Useful Life of a Simple Hypothesis," Tebiwa:fournal of the Idaho State University Museum 13(1973):l-9

56 Robert F Heizer, "Recent Cave Explorations in the Lower Humboldt Valley, Nevada," University of California Archaeological Survey Reports No 33 (Berkeley: Archaeological Research Facility, Department of Anthropology, 1956), pp. 50-57.

57 The initial dates were run in 1951 and 1952 by Willard F Libby, who developed the radiocarbon technique

58 Jesse D.Jennings, Danger Cave, Memoirs No 14, Society of American Archaeology (1957)

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explored the canyon for archaeological remains and to document and recover data before Lake Powell inundated it. Although the region had been explored no fewer than thirty-seven times by people like Byron Cummings, Earl Morris, John Wetherill, Neil Judd, andJulian Steward, little had been written describing their findings.59 The project was massive—a logistical nightmare in many ways—and in many ways tailor-made for Jennings who, as noted earlier, had a talent for managing complex projects. The research was multidisciplinary and involved historians, geologists, and botanists, as well as archaeologists, and set a standard for environmental studies in advance of destructive

development. Always interested in a broader view, Jennings supplemented the work being done in the canyon with research on nearby Kaiparowits Plateau, near Kanab, at the Coombs Site (now Anasazi State Park) near Boulder, and in the St. George area. In keeping with his insistence on "closing the circuit," Jennings reported all findings in the thirty-one volumes of the Glen Canyon Series of the Anthropological Papers.

Jennings's assessment of the Glen Canyon work focused on the "genius of the Anasazi culture" which he saw as based on "ancient foraging skills," including the "ability to develop and exploit limited water."60 This genius is revealed in the multitude of small Anasazi ruins in regions where even small-scale farming seemed impossible Critical

59 Jesse D.Jennings, Glen Canyon: A Summary, Glen Canyon Series No. 31, Anthropological Paper No 81 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1966)

60Jesse D.Jennings, Glen Canyon: A Summary, Anthropological Papers No 81, Glen Canyon Series No. 31 (Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 1966), pp. 62-63.

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 121
Jesse D. Jennings on the Kaiparowits Plateau during the Glen Canyon Project. Courtesy of Utah Museum of Natural History, University of Utah.

skills honed over the millennia of the preceding Archaic and acquired/inherited by Anasazi gardeners provided the key to Anasazi survival.Jennings considered these "backwoods Anasazi" more representative of the Anasazi pattern than the great ruins at Mesa Verde or Chaco. Significantly, he included the Fremont in his discussions of Utah farming strategies but argued that it was best understood on its own terms rather than as a dilute form of the Anasazi pattern. In summing up, Jennings stated that the "main contribution" of the Glen Canyon Project was removing "the region from the limbo of the unknown. Instead of an empty place on the maps of biologists, historians and archeologists as it once was, Glen Canyon emerges as the best known archeological area of comparable size and difficulty in the West." Additionally, the Glen Canyon work made clear that the Anasazi-Fremont boundary was real and dynamic through the research at the Coombs Site and the Kaiparowits Plateau which documented Anasazi settlements well north of the Colorado River around A.D. 1100.61

Jennings's Contributions

The Desert Culture may be the phrase that most often comes to mind whenJennings's work is discussed, but other contributions equal it in importance. Primary is the totality of the archaeological data generated at Utah during his thirty years of field work, all of which were promptly analyzed and objectively reported for the benefit of contemporary or future scholars. The University of Utah Anthropological Papers series, which contains numerous volumes reporting site excavation results, stands as evidence of this significant contribution to Utah archaeology as well as to his commitment to bringing projects to appropriate completion.

Jennings's influence also extended to the political and administrative arenas In 1953 he, along with other Great Basin scholars, founded the Great Basin Archaeological Conference (later the Great Basin Anthropological Conference). He expanded the Museum of Anthropology (which he had inherited upon his arrival in 1948) into the Utah Museum of Natural History. The latter was formally established by the legislature in 1963.Jennings nursed the new facility

61 See Robert H Lister and Florence C Lister, The Coombs Site, Part III, Summary and Conclusions, Glen Canyon Series No 8, Anthropological Papers No 41 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1961) and Florence C Lister, Kaiparowits Plateau and, Glen Canyon Prehistory: An Interpretation Based on Ceramics, Glen Canyon Series No 24, Anthropological Papers No 71 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964) for discussion of this issue.

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through the critical early period by serving as its director for ten years. In 1973 he shepherded the first useful state antiquities law through the legislature. It established the Antiquities Section, headed by a state archaeologist, within the Utah Division of State History. The concern driving the legislation was archaeological vandalism, an issue eloquently addressed byJennings in his 1972 letter to legislators:

My research in Utah has been exclusively with an effort at understanding Utah's incredibly rich prehistory. All over Utah I have seen evidence of wanton despoliation of Indian sites whose ages go back thousands of years. The destruction falls into three classes: outright vandalism, uninformed but intense curiosity, and died-in-the-wool commercial collecting. I can testify that the state's rich resources are being stolen and destroyed from one end of the state to the other Utah has lagged in the establishment of a serviceable antiquities law and, except as I have interested myself in it, has expended little money in the protection of this resource The rich saga of Utah's past has been an inspiration to me and led me to participate in the development of this legislation. I heartily commend it to your earnest consideration.62

The law passed in the 1973 session. Finally, Jennings trained several generations of archaeologists through the U of U field school and graduate program Students that experienced his field school are numerous, and many continue to be active professionals. He has been described as something of a taskmaster in running his projects;63 however, his occasionally stern discipline was balanced by a sincere concern for the future success of the survivors. The many publications in the Anthropological Papers series authored solely by students (rather than co-authored by himself) is ample evidence of his unselfish emphasis on the quality and completeness of the student's experience.

Like others who had done archaeology in Utah, his field work was focused for the most part on two kinds of sites: caves and rock shelters and open Fremont structural sites. He brought to this work a deep interest in human ecology (inspired certainly by Steward's research) and a commitment to telling the story of Utah's cultural past His ability to choose sites that would provide the kind of data to accomplish that goal served him well In addition to being the father of Utah archaeology, Jennings is one of the great synthesizers of North American prehistory. He wrote one of the first texts on North

62 Jesse D.Jennings, letter dated December 26, 1972, addressed to state legislators, Utah Museum of Natural History Archives, University of Utah, Salt Lake City

63 Carol J Condie and Don D Fowler, eds., Anthropology oftheDesert West: Essays in Honor offesse D. Jennings, Anthropological Papers No 110 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1986), p viii

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 123

American archaeology {Prehistory of North America, now in its third edition) and edited numerous other volumes on the archaeology of the New World and Polynesia.64

Other Archaeological Activity during theJennings Era

Jennings dominated Utah archaeology for three decades, but others made important contributions during that era. Marie Wormington of the Denver Museum of Natural History worked at the Turner-Look Site north of Moab between 1939 and 1948 (with time out for World War II) This site was relatively small (about nine structures), but Wormington's discussion of the Fremont in the Turner-Look report was highly detailed and clearly the most definitive coverage of "Northern Periphery" archaeology at the time.65 Colorado archaeologists also carried out research in and near Dinosaur National Monument at sites such as Mantles Cave and Thorne Cave.66 Between 1963 and 1965 the University of Colorado surveyed and excavated in Dinosaur National Monument under the direction of Robert Lister and David Breternitz. Their emphasis was primarily on Fremont structural sites (Cub Creek Village, Boundary Village, Wholeplace Village, etc.), although some small shelters were excavated along with the larger Deluge Shelter.67

In 1946 the Department of Archaeology was established at BYU. From the mid-1940s into the early 1960s the primary interest there was Mesoamerica; however, Ross Christensen and, later, Ray T Matheny and Dale L. Berge excavated mounds in Utah Valley.68 During the late 1960s and early 1970s Matheny pursued research at Anasazi sites in Montezuma Canyon in southeastern Utah as part of the BYU archaeological field school program. 69 Berge's field work in Utah focused primarily on historic sites such as Simpson Springs, old Goshen town in

64 See C Melvin Aikens, "Jesse D.Jennings, Archeologist" in Condie and Fowler, eds., Anthropology of the Desert West, pp 1-5; and Jennings, Accidental Archaeologist, for details on Jennings's contributions, accomplishments, and awards.

65 Hannah Marie Worthington, A Reappraisal of the Fremont Culture with a Summary of the Archaeology of the Northern Periphery (Denver: Denver Museum of Natural History, 1955)

66 Robert F Burgh and Charles R Scoggin, The Archaeology of Castle Park, Dinosaur National Monument, University of Colorado Studies, Series in Anthropology No 2 (Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 1948); Kent C Day, "Thorne Cave, Northeastern Utah: Archaeology," American Antiquity 30(1964): 50-59.

67 See David A Breternitz, assembler, Archaeological Excavations in Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado-Utah, 1964-1965, University of Colorado Studies, Series in Anthropology No. 17 (Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 1970) for a summary of this work

68 Archaeological research in Utah Valley is reviewed by Joel C Janetski, "Utah Lake: Its Role in the Prehistory of Utah Valley," Utah Historical Quarterly 58(1990): 3-31

69 Ray T. Matheny, "Possible Approaches to Population Distribution Studies in Southeastern Utah," in George J Gumerman, ed., The Distribution of Prehistoric Population Aggregates, Anthropological Reports No. 1 (Prescott: Prescott College, 1971), pp. 152-64.

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Utah Valley, Camp Floyd in Cedar Valley, and the mining town of Mercur.70

Jennings directed his research at the northern three-fourths of the state With the exception of the Glen Canyon project, research on the Anasazi in southwestern and southeastern Utah was left to others. Matheny's work in Montezuma Canyon, mentioned above, and the research of Richard Thompson at Southern Utah University helped fill those gaps. Thompson pursued field work almost exclusively at Virgin River Anasazi sites on the Utah-Arizona border and along the Virgin River near St. George. He reported his findings in part in the Western Anasazi Reports, a publication series he initiated

In southeastern Utah, William Lipe (a student ofJennings) continued research on Cedar Mesa and Grand Gulch begun during the Glen Canyon Project He and his colleague R G Matson represent the few scholars with long-term commitments to regional study in this portion of the state. Surprisingly few archaeologists have returned to the spectacular canyons north of the SanJuan River, the scene of the furious collecting activities of the 1890s. Lipe's interests have consistently centered on understanding Anasazi communities and settlement patterns.71 Both Lipe and Matson have continued their interest in this historic archaeological region, with Matson most recently emphasizing the origins and horticultural dependence of early Basketmaker peoples.72

Archaeological research in Utah during the Jennings era occurred primarily within the culture history paradigm. The important concerns dominating this research included the timing of human arrival in the area, the distribution of the Fremont pattern, whether the Fremont strategy was a result of migration or diffusion, Fremont variant models, definitions of pottery styles, etc.73 However, changes in research emphases by American archaeologists during the 1960s and 1970s had an impact on the direction of Utah archaeology aswell. The

70 See for example, Dale L Berge, Simpson Springs Station: Historical Archaeology in Western Utah, Cultural Resource Series No 6 (Salt Lake City: Utah Office, U.S Bureau of Land Management, 1980); and Dale L Berge, "Lower Goshen: Archaeology of a Pioneer Mormon Community," BYU Studies 30(1990).

71 William D. Lipe, "Anasazi Communities in the Red Rock Plateau, Southeastern Utah," in William Longacre, ed., Reconstructing Prehistoric Pueblo Societies (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1970), pp. 84-139.

72 R G Matson, The Origins of Southwestern Agriculture (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1991)

73 Particularly influential in modeling Fremont variation was Jennings student Joh n P Marwitt, Median Village and Fremont Culture Regional Variation, Anthropological Papers No 9 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1970); another Jennings student, C. Melvin Aikens, published important thoughts on the fate of the Fremont in his Fremont-Promontory-Plains Relationships in Northern Utah, Anthropological Papers No. 82 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1966)

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 125

so-called New Archaeology with its interest in cultural evolution, concern with explaining cultural change or process, and deductive approach to archaeological research, among other things, became very influential. Explaining cultural process contrasted sharply with the more descriptive goals of cultural historical archaeology during the first half of the century. The prioritizing of explanation led archaeology historians Gordon Willey andJeremy Sabloff to dub this era (the 1960s and 1970s) the Explanatory Period.74

An important interest of the New Archaeology in the 1970s was "middle range theory," which focused on obtaining a better understanding of how the archaeological record was formed. Those interested in this field turned to studying living peoples to document site organization and human behaviors responsible for material patterning This field of study is called ethnoarchaeology During the 1980s middle range studies and ethnoarchaeology influenced Utah archaeological research in a number of ways The background and consequences of this change in emphasis is laid out below.


For several reasons, not the least of which wasJennings's departure in the early 1980s and the burgeoning field of Cultural Resource Management (CRM) archaeology (see below), field work in the state following the late 1970s was not dominated by the U of U, although that institution continued to be highly influential theoretically In the mid1970s, for example, the newly established Antiquities Section in the Utah Division of State History, directed by David B. Madsen, the first state archaeologist (a position established by the Utah Antiquities Act of 1973), became an important player in Utah archaeology. Prior to his appointment, Madsen had earned a master's degree at the U of U under Jennings and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri at Columbia. His research interests were in paleoenvironmental reconstruction and subsistence. As a student at the U of U he had worked at Hogup Cave in western Utah, at O'Malley Shelter in southeastern Nevada, and at a number of Fremont sites, and was thus familiar with the archaeology. He initiated a publication series, the Antiquities Section Selected Papers, and set up a central location for the management of all archaeological records for the state, a task previously performed by the U of U.

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74 Gordon Randolph Willey an d Jeremy A Sabloff, A History of American Archaeology, 3d ed (New York: W H Freeman and Co., 1993)

Madsen's interests in subsistence and environments redirected Fremont research in the late 1970s into the 1980s. Based on excavations at Backhoe Village, a Fremont site in Richfield, Madsen and assistant state archaeologist La Mar Lindsay proposed that the Fremont along the Wasatch Front practiced a "Subsistence economy [that] is based on a dependence on collecting of wild flora and fauna, primarily from marsh environments, and is supplemented by corn agriculture." 7 5 Their conclusions, inspired by the discovery of abundant cattail pollen on the floors of the houses at Backhoe, reversed the traditional notion that Fremont settled life relied most heavily on corn. This position sparked debate and stimulated more rigorous investigations of the Fremont subsistence economy.

Madsen's continuing interest in the Fremont resulted in a formal symposium at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference in 1978 and a publication, Fremont Perspectives.™ Shortly afterwards, he and James F O'Connell (see below) edited a collection of papers entitled Man and Environment in the Great Basin published by the Society for American Archaeology. Madsen's interests in environmental reconstruction and subsistence are evident in this volume that synthesized

75 David B Madsen and La Mar W Lindsay, Backhoe Village, Antiquities Section Selected Papers Vol IV, No 12 (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1977), p 91

76 David B Madsen, ed., Fremont Perspectives, Antiquities Section Selected Papers Vol VII, No 16 (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1980)

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 127
David B. Madsen during reexcavations of Danger Cave. Courtesy of Antiquities Section, Utah Division of State History.

Holocene environments and culture histories for all portions of the Great Basin. O'Connell's contribution (with Kevin Jones and Steve Simms) to Man and Environment in the Great Basin reviewed the limitations of current theoretical perspectives in Great Basin archaeology (such as culture history and descriptive ecology), offering evolutionary ecology as a more powerful body of theory for understanding human behavior.77 This short paper foreshadowed the influential work of O'Connell and his students in the coming decade. Ironically, Fremont Perspectives marked the end of more than a century of preoccupation with the Fremont by Utah archaeologists The 1980s saw a new research interest emerge in the state—hunter-gatherer studies and middle range research—a focus stemming in part from the influence ofJennings's heir-apparent at the U of U,James F. O'Connell, and the shifts in the emphasis of American archaeology noted earlier. O'Connell was trained at the University of California, Berkeley, under Jennings's long time sparring partner, Robert Heizer, and did his doctoral work on an archaeological study of Surprise Valley in northeastern California.78 Following this, however, O'Connell shifted his focus to ethnoarchaeology. He came to the U of U in 1978 and for three summers directed the field school at Nawthis Village, a large Fremont site in the central part of the state. Afterwards he turned his full attention to ethnoarchaeological studies of extant hunter-gatherers in Australia and Africa Publications by O'Connell and U of U colleague Kristen Hawkes on their hunter-gatherer research are numerous and highly influential in the field.79 That influence is clear in a generation of U of U graduate students whose doctoral studies were chaired by O'Connell. Several of them remain in Utah, includingJoel Janetski, KevinJones, Duncan Metcalfe, and Steven Simms.80 Jones, Metcalfe, and Simms established research agendas focusing on

77 James F O'Connell, Kevin T.Jones, an d Steven R Simms, "Some Thought s on Prehistoric Archaeology in the Great Basin," in David B Madsen and James F O'Connell, eds., Man and Environment in the Great Basin, SAA Papers No 2 (Washington, D.C : Society of American Archaeology, 1982), pp 227-40

78 James F O'Connell, The Prehistory of Surprise Valley, Anthropological Papers No 4 (Ramona: Ballena Press, 1975)

79 As examples, James F. O'Connell, "Alyawara Site Structure and Its Archaeological Implications," American Antiquity 52(1987): 74-108 James F O'Connell, Kristen Hawkes, and N Blurton Jones, "Hadza Hunting , Butchering, and Bone Transpor t an d Thei r Archaeological Implications," fournal of Anthropological Research 44(1988): 113-61 Kristen Hawkes, James F O'Connell, and N Blurton Jones, "Hunting Income Patterns amon g the Hadza: Big Game, Commo n Goods, Foraging Goals, and the Evolution of the Human Diet," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London, B 334(1991): 243-51.

80 As of 1996 Jones was the state archaeologist, Metcalfe was the curator of North American archaeology at the Utah Museum of Natural History, and Simms was on the faculty at Utah State University Janetski (department of anthropology at BYU) studied under both Jennings and O'Connell at the UofU and bridges the interests of the two with his culture-historical and ecological research on hunter-gatherers.

128 Utah Historical Quarterly

middle range topics revolving around hunter-gatherer behavior and/or site structure. Perhaps the most active has been Simms whose studies of hunter-gatherer foraging behavior and thoughtful theoretical perspectives are widely cited.81 The trend is also reflected in research by David Madsen, whose interest in middle range studies and evolutionary ecology is apparent in several papers 82 BothJanetski and Simms have prioritized research on post-Fremont (Late Prehistoric) hunter-gatherers who had seldom been investigated previously. Janetski and Madsen's common ecological interests led to the publication of Wetland Adaptations in the Great Basin, which focuses almost exclusively on hunter-gatherer strategies.83

The interest in hunters and gatherers and middle range studies continues in Utah to the benefit to our understanding of the past. Research on Late Prehistoric hunter-gatherers, for example, has enabled archaeologists to describe, if not explain, the transition from farming to hunting and gathering at about A.D. 1300.84


During the 1960s and 1970s Congress passed legislation requiring that archaeological sites on public land be protected from destruction by construction projects using federal funds. These laws and regulations (for example, the National Environmental Policy Act and Executive Order 11593) have been particularly important in states like Utah that contain large amounts of federal land managed by agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and United States Forest Service (USFS). Archaeologists working for the BLM, USFS, Bureau of Reclamation, and the National Park Service, and others now manage cultural resources (historic and prehistoric sites) on their lands in Utah. State agencies (Department of Transportation, State Lands and Forestry, State History) also have archaeologists on staff to protect archaeological sites. These legislative changes ushered in the era of Cultural Resource Management (CRM) archaeology, an era

81 Steven R. Simms, Behavioral Ecology and Hunter-Gatherer Foraging: An Example from the Great Basin, BAR International Series 381 (Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, 1987); and Steven R Simms, "Fremont Transitions," Utah Archaeology 1990 3 (1990): 1-18

82 David B Madsen and James E Kirkman, "Huntin g Hoppers," American Antiquity 53(1988): 593-604; David B Madsen, "Testing Diet Breadth Models: Examining Adaptive Change in the Late Prehistoric Great Basin," fournal of Archaeological Science 20(1993): 321-30

83 Joel C. Janetski and David B. Madsen, eds., Wetland Adaptations in the Great Basin, Museum of Peoples and Cultures Occasional Papers No 1 (Provo: Brigham Young University, 1990)

84 David B Madsen and David Rhode, eds., Across the West: Human Population Movement and the Expansion of the Numa (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1994).

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 129

whose consequences and contributions are still being evaluated.85 The result has been the emergence of a very different archaeological environment. Prior to the 1970s archaeology was pretty much the exclusive domain of the universities Over the last two decades, however, the number of archaeologists working for federal agencies and for private contracting firms and the amount of archaeological information being generated have increased many-fold. Although many CRM projects are small, some are very large and require institutional support. Consequently, several universities now support archaeological contracting offices with staffs dedicated to CRM projects.

Excavations in advance of large developments (dam construction, highway projects, building construction, oil and coal exploration) have often resulted in the recovery of important archaeological data and, in some cases, the development of public-oriented facilities. Examples include the Coombs Village (part of the Glen Canyon project) and Clear Creek Canyon excavations, both of which led to the construction of popular heritage parks. Despite some recent slowing in contract work, by far the majority of the archaeological work being done in the state is CRM-related.


In 1990 Congress passed legislation that gave Native Americans much more control over their past including the disposition of Native American remains and associated objects. Utah passed a companion bill for state lands in 1992 as part of the Antiquities Protection Act. The increasing involvement of Native Americans in preservation and archaeology has resulted in changes in the way archaeology is done in Utah and throughout the country. Recovery and study of Native American human remains, for example, can only be done with the approval and cooperation of appropriate tribal groups. An example of such a cooperative project is the recovery and subsequent reinterment of the many burials exposed along the shores of the Great Salt Lake during the flooding in the mid-1980s. Excavation and analysis of those remains was done in collaboration with the Northwest Band of the Shoshone Nation.86 The Fish Lake Project, a BYU archaeological


130 Utah Historical Quarterly
85 D Fowler, "Conserving American Archaeological Resources," in American Archaeology Past and Future, David J Meltzer and Don D Fowler, eds (Washington D.C: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986), pp 135-62 86 Steven R. Simms, Carol J. Loveland, an d Mark E. Stuart, "Prehistoric Huma n Skeletal Remains and the Prehistory of the Great Salt Lake Wetlands," 1991, MS on file, Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology, Utah State University, Logan

field school on Forest Service lands, included several Native American participants representing the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah and may offer a model of how pure research projects will be structured in the future.87


Archaeology in the United States has always been supported by active non-professionals or amateurs, and Utah is no exception. Numerous amateurs have had a long-standing interest in the prehistory of the state. Unfortunately, that interest has often taken the form of uncontrolled collecting, but many moved beyond that preoccupation to contribute to archaeology in positive ways. Prior to the formal organization of the Utah Statewide Archaeological Society (USAS), several amateurs made significant contributions to Utah archaeology. The activities of Don Maguire of Ogden have already been mentioned. In Utah Valley the father and son team, Robert andJames Bee, made systematic and well-documented collections during the 1930s Their detailed notes and collections have been donated to the Museum of Peoples and Cultures at BYU Also active in Utah Valley during the first half of this century wasJohn Hutchings whose collections and notes now reside at the Hutchings Museum in Lehi. Amateur Leo Thorne worked with Albert Reagan in the Uinta Basin, made collections from local sites and took many photographs of the wonderful Uinta Basin rock art. Thome's collections are stored in the Western Park Museum in Vernal. Eldon "Doc" Dorman of Price has been a fixture in Utah archaeology for half a century, lending his assistance to the Prehistoric Museum in Price and to professional archaeologists.

The Utah Statewide Archaeological Society (USAS) was founded in 1962 with support from Jennings From the beginning USAS conceived of itself as a statewide organization with chapters in various communities, a structure that remains to the present In the mid-1980s USAS was revitalized (after sagging interest during the 1970s) through thejoint efforts of state archaeologist David Madsen and USAS member George Tripp, both of whom felt that amateur and public support for archaeology was critical to controlling site vandalism and assisting in research. As new chapters were formed, professionals from univer-

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 131
87 See Jeff McClellan, "Crossroads of Cultures," Brigham Young Magazine 50:42-49, for a popular overview of the Fish Lake Project, and Brian Fagan, Ancient North America (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996), pp 62-63, for a positive take on the future of Native Americans and archaeology

sides or state or federal agencies stepped forward to act as chapter advisors. In 1988 Utah Archaeology, formerly the USAS newsletter, was reconceptualized as an annual state journal supported by the Utah Professional Archaeological Society, USAS, and the Division of State History. As a consequence, USAS membership boomed. In 1990 enrollment was over 400 in ten chapters scattered throughout the state. Public participation in research projects has become the rule as amateurs play an ever-increasing role learning about Utah's past.

Agency archaeology has also come to emphasize public participation and public access to archaeology. The BLM has emphasized educational programs and has produced a formal curriculum for elementary and secondary schools.88 The Passport in Time program sponsored by the Forest Service and the BLM's Adventures in the Past are both national programs intended to educate the public about archaeology and site preservation through participation in field research. All federal and state agencies as well as many private organizations sponsor Utah Heritage Week devoted to providing public access to archaeology and educating about archaeology and paleontology.


Utah archaeology in the 1990s is a dynamic and highly diverse field, dramatically different from the early part of this century when professional work began. At that time practitioners were few in number and the literature on the prehistory of the state would barely fill a shelf. Today archaeologists are employed by every major land managing agency and university in the state, and publications on Utah archaeology would fill rooms The chronological framework of the state was established by the 1950s, and patterns of subsistence and settlement have been described for much of the area Archaeologists are now building on this foundation to explore issues of economics, group interaction, regional diversity, and explanations for the ebb and flow of cultural change over the past 10,000 years of human presence. The past remains elusive, but Utah is fortunate as it continues to attract some of the best minds in the field to tell the story of Utah's complex and intrinsically fascinating history and prehistory.

Archaeology's greatest challenge at the end of the twentieth cen-

132 Utah Historical Quarterly
88 Shelly Smith, Jeanne Moe, Kelly Letts, and Danielle Paterson, Intrigue of the Past: Investigating Archaeology; A Teacher's Activity Guide for Fourth Through Seventh Grades, Utah Interagency Task Force on Cultural Resources (Salt Lake City: Bureau of Land Management, 1992)

tury has not changed since the 1930s when Elmer Smith drew attention to the incessant looting of archaeological sites around the state. According to Smith: "The present writer failed to visit one locality where the archaeological material had not been disturbed in one way or another." This was written in 1937!89 Smith went on to recommend that "an educational program should be undertaken to acquaint the public with rules and regulations governing archaeological resources of the state." Smith's recommendations were not pursued at the time.90 Vandalism has, in fact, escalated over the past fifty years despite the efforts of many preservation-minded citizens and the passage of legislation designed to protect antiquities. More effective forms of protection are needed to care for our precious and irreplaceable cultural resources. Without it, the remaining unwritten history of the native peoples and early settlers of Utah will certainly be lost The new era of Native American involvement could bring a new and different energy to the preservation of the past.

89 E. Smith, "Archaeological Resources."

90 Only recently, through the combined efforts of state and federal agencies have such programs been instituted See especially S Smith, et al., Intrigue of the Past.

150 Years of Utah Archaeology 133

"The Yellow Ochre Club": B. F. Larsen and the Pioneer Trail Art Tour, 1936

TRU E TO THEIR HERITAGE, Latter-day Saints have perpetuated an undying enthusiasm for pioneer nostalgia This fervor has resulted in the memorialization of the pioneer experience through song, verse, pageantry, and visual art. The trek west in 1847 has evoked in many Latter-day Saints a deep sense of affection for their devoted forebears Innumerable examples of artistic expressions in honor of the exodus have served to underscore this sense of piety toward the Mormon pioneers.1 Such a deep affinity with the early Saints has never been more fully expressed than during the dreary years of the Great Depression. At a time when many Americans were unemployed and facing financial crises, many Latter-day Saints were closely associating the trials of the depression with the adversity of their predecessors Helping to establish this connection, Mormonism, after a century of growth and refinement, was working to preserve its past. With the help of preservation groups and independent agents, the LDS church had begun to acquire historic sites and landmarks As a result, a number of sites were restored and identified with markers.2

Mr Carmack is preservation librarian at Merrill Library, Utah State University, Logan He is currently completing an MFA at USU He is a great grandson of Effie M Carmack, an art tour participant

1 Robert R King, "The Enduring Significance of the Mormon Trek," Dialogue: Afournal of Mormon Thought 13 (Summer 1980): 102-7; Stanley B Kimball, "The Power of Place and the Spirit of Locale: Finding God on Western Trails," fournal of Mormon History 16 (1990): 3-9.

2 Paul L Anderson, "Heroic Nostalgia: Enshrining the Mormon Past," Sunstone 5 (July-August 1980): 47-55; Davis Bitton, "The Ritualization of Mormon History," Utah Historical Quarterly 43 (1975):

Pioneer Trail Art Tour bus and artists by Church Butte on the Mormon Trail, 1936. Courtesy of the LDS Historical Department Archives, Salt Lake City.

On February 6, 1936, several officials at Brigham Young University discussed the possibility of sending an art excursion over the pioneer trail. This meeting with BYU President Franklin S. Harris followed several informal conversations between Harrison R Merrill, director of the Extension Division, and B. F. Larsen, professor of art. The tour, as initially proposed by Merrill and Asael C. Lambert, acting dean of the Summer School and Extension Division, called for a survey of the trail, a visit to art centers in Chicago, and a leisurely return

67-85; Stanley B Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and Other Great Western Trails (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988); U.S., Department of the Interior, Historic Resource Study: Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trailby Stanley B Kimball (Denver: National Park Service, 1991) For a few examples of trail memorialization see Charles L Ray, "Historic Pioneer Grounds," Improvement Era 24 (July 1921): 32-34; "On the Pioneer Trail of 1847: Photographs of Important landmarks by Mr George Ed Anderson, Springville, Utah, taken on a trip over the trail with Church Historian Andrew Jenson, July, 1926," Improvement Era 30 (July 1927): 763-68; Joh n D. Giles, "Mormon Caravan to Independence Rock," Improvement Era 33 (September 1930): 734-41, 760-62; John D. Giles, " From the Green Mountains to the Rockies," Improvement Era 33 (November 1929): 26-31, idem, 33 (December 1929): 131-34, idem, 33 (April 1930): 385-87, idem, 33 (July 1930): 615-18, idem, 34 (November 1930): 25-27; John D Giles, "The M.I.A Preserves History," Improvement Era %% (February 1935): 82-87; "Nauvoo 'Opera House' Acquired by Wilford C Wood," Improvement Era 40 (June 1937): 356; Bryant S Hinkley, "The Nauvoo Memorial," Improvement Era 41 (August 1938): 458-61

home. The trip would be billed as the most extensive visual documentation of the pioneer trail ever undertaken. With Harris's approval, Larsen was invited to head the trip.3

Larsen was known not only as the progressive force behin d the BYU Art Departmen t but also as an inspirational teacher and artist. He had first joined the Art Department faculty in July 1908 while working part-time toward a degree. After receiving an A.B. degree from BYU in 1912 and an M.A. degree from the University of Utah in 1922, he pursued advanced studies at the University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago. He also took two sabbaticals to Europe to refine his art skills—one during 1923—24 and the other during 1929-30. His time in Europe included intensive study in Paris at the Academie Julian, Academie Colarossi, Academie La Grande Chaumiere, and Academie Andre L' Hote. Having attained a high level of experience himself, Larsen sought to instill proficiency, skill, and a greater spirit of creativity in his students After his European studies he resumed teaching at BYU and became head of the Art Department in 1936.4

Larsen taught that artistic endeavors often reflect the conditions of society—whether characterized by primitivism, sophistication, prosperity, or privation. "In America," he wrote, "a new renaissance seems to be taking form rapidly. It is characterized by a new spirit of nationalism." Despite its undesirable attributes, this new movement was, according to Larsen, not without its positive manifestations. He believed that among these was the tendency to use American subjects as motifs, the increased use of western subjects, and the revival of interest in American primitives. He wrote:

136 Utah Historical Quarterly
Bent F. Larsen. Utah Educational Review, January 1929. 3 Franklin S. Harris to B. F. Larsen, February 6, 1936, B. F. Larsen Papers, University Archives Department, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (hereafter cited as BFL). See also "B.Y.U Plans Art Caravan Over Mormon Trail in June," Deseret News, May 21, 1936 All quotations appear as they were written in the manuscripts with spelling, punctuation, and grammar retained Editorial insertions appear in brackets 4 Max Edwin Bunnell, "A Study of Bent Franklin Larsen as Artist and Educator" (M.A thesis, Brigham Young University, 1962).

The depression has undoubtedly helped to give direction to this national trend. In times of prosperity we experiment with technique. In times of depression we are prone to revert to realism. Abstract forms of expression become inadequate We are shifting from our interest in pure design We are confronted with problems of hunger, suffering, evictions, mental stupor, spiritual backsliding. When the painter tries to express these ideas, he finds abstract forms unsatisfactory.5

He later noted: "Highly conventional and abstract design may express great aesthetic achievements, but it cannot compare with good pictures, in calling to mind great human thoughts, struggles, and achievements."6

In keeping with this ideal, Larsen desired to emulate the work of earlier Mormon artists who had captured the spirit of the trek through visual media. Among others, non-Mormon artist and photographer William H. Jackson had put to canvas what he had experienced and what he had seen through the lens of his camera. Mormon artists such as Frederick Piercy and C. C. A. Christensen and photographer George Edward Anderson are but a few of the visual artists who had depicted the sense of time and place along the pioneer trail.7 At the prospect of sending an excursion to record trail landmarks, Larsen was reported to have said, "I am glad to undertake this trip. . . . Ever since seeing the sketches and paintings of the pioneer artists I have wished that I might spend some time visiting historic spots and sketching over the route the heroic Mormon pioneers traversed in coming to Utah."8

He, like others before him, envisioned the prospective grandeur of documenting the westward trek of the faithful Latter-day Saints

On Monday morning, June 15, 1936, the students arrived at BYU carrying their luggage and art supplies. Besides Professor Larsen and his wife, Geneva, the group included some fifteen artists from Utah

5 B F Larsen, "Recent Trends in Art," Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters 12 (1935): 89-91

6 B F Larsen, "In the Interest of Better Art in Ou r Churches," Improvement Era 42 (July 1939): 410-11

7 See, for example, James Linforth, Route from Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley (Liverpool: Franklin D Richards, 1855) Peter O Hansen also mad e a numbe r of sketches along the trail durin g the 1846-47 exodus (see Stanley B Kimball, Heber C. Kimball: Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer [Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1981], illustrations following Part II) For other sources on Mormo n Trail artists, see Wilford Hill LeCheminant, "'Entitled to be Called an Artist': Landscape and Portrait Painter Frederick Piercy," Utah Historical Quarterly 48 (Winter 1980): 49-65 ; Rell G Francis, The Utah Photographs of George Edward Anderson (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979); Nelson B. Wadsworth, "A Village Photographer's Dream," Ensign 3 (September 1973): 40-55; Richard L.Jensen and Richard G Oman , C. C. A. Christensen, 1831-1912: Mormon Immigrant Artist (Salt Lake City: Th e Churc h of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1984); Carl Carmer, "A Panoram a of Mormo n Life," Art in America 58 (May-June 1970): 52-65 See also Richar d Neitzel Holzapfel, Their Faces Toward Zion: Voices and Images of the Trek West (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996)

8 H R Merrill, "While Yet the Old Trail Lasts: Artists Plan Trip to Preserve Historic Scenes," Deseret Nezus [Church Section], February 22, 1936

Pioneer Frail Art Four, 1936 137

and surrounding states: Wilford Biggs, Phoenix; Euray Anderson and Viola Hale Curtis, Salt Lake City; Merla Robinson, Coalville; Ralph Huntsman, Bunkerville, Nevada; Lorin Covington, Hurricane; Effie M. Carmack, Winslow, Arizona; Ethel Strauser, Springville; Thera Lou Olsen, Manti; Anna R Williams, Ogden; MaryJensen, Brigham City; Georgiana Johnson, Provo; Alton and Myrtle Peterson, Jensen; and George Strebel, Vernal.9

As the bus was being loaded and prepared for the trip, the students said their last goodbyes to friends and family. After a few parting snapshots and interviews for the press, the participants boarded the bus, and it finally rolled out of Provo about 1:30 P.M. Four miles down the road, however, the bus sputtered to a halt. It appeared that

138 Utah Historical Quarterly
Art Tour group at the CarthageJail, Illinois, 1936. Left to right: three unidentified men— possibly Mormon missionaries, Effie M. Carmack, Ralph Huntsman, unidentified woman, Geneva Larsen, unidentified woman, B. F. Larsen, Alton Peterson, Myrtle Peterson, Thera Lou Olsen, Euray Anderson, Lorin Covington, Mary Jensen, Wilford Biggs, Ethel Strauser, GeorgianaJohnson, Viola Hale Curtis, and Merla Robinson. Not shown: photographer George Strebel and Anna R. Williams. Courtesy of the LDS Historical Department Archives. "B.Y.U Artists to Visit Nauvoo as Part of Trip," Deseret News, June 16, 1936

in all the clamor to leave, no one had thought to fill the tank with gas Graciously, George Strebel, their patient driver and fellow student, hiked to the nearest service station to fill a gas can. The bus was back on the road by mid-afternoon

Geneva Larsen kept the daily travel log. Her diary, written with a pencil in a ruled notebook, provides an intimate account of the group's activity and observations along the trail. Though she did not employ the monumental language of a lyric novelist, her diary is yet anticipatory of written observations like those in Thomas Wolfe's burgeoning image of America, A Western Journal, written only two summers later.10 Her entries, often visiblyjoggled from the movement of the bus, stand as enlightening captions to the group's art work.

Passing through Emigration Canyon and northeast through Coalville, the bus made its way toward Fort Bridger, the projected first stop All along the way Professor Larsen pointed out the old pioneer campsites and recounted the story of the immigrants' hardships. Beyond Coalville the towering rock walls of Echo Canyon greatly impressed the artists. By dusk they could see the Uinta Range to the south; but before reaching Fort Bridger, the group bedded down in an unfinished campground.

After an uncomfortable night on the open plain, the artists were eager to resume traveling. "We stopped at Fort Bridger for breakfast," Geneva wrote, "and also kept the post office busy Most of the group wrote home. . . . We stopped about two hours to see the ruins of the old fort."11 Although unrestored, the fort still bore the recognizable features of the old lodges and stables. The students made a few pencil drawings and watercolor sketches but were soon ready to continue, anxious to keep moving toward Nauvoo.

Crossing Black's Fork River, the bus headed northeast toward Granger and the Green River region. To keep their minds occupied, the artists amused themselves with a friendly game or competition. Geneva noted:

The group decided some identification was needed so a contest was held, a terse expression was desired Mrs Carmack won the five cent prize with "Pioneer Trail Art Tour." Paint kits were rifled . . . and soon it shone in blue paint from either side of the bus

10 Thomas Wolfe, A Western fournal: A Daily Log of the Great Parks Trip, fune 20-fuly 2, 1938 (Philadelphia: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1951) See also V L O Chittick, "Tom Wolfe's Farthest West," Southwest Review AS (Spring 1963): 93-110; Richard H Cracroft, "Through Utah and the Western Parks: Thomas Wolfe's Farewell to America," Utah Historical Quarterly 37 (1969): 290-306; Brian F Berger, Thomas Wolfe: The Final fourney (West Linn, Oregon: Willamette River Press, 1984)

11 Geneva Larsen, "B.Y.U Summer School Art Tour" Diary, holograph [June 16, 1936], BFL

Pioneer Frail Art Four, 1936 139

We stopped again to get sketches of the Green River with the bluffs behind it It was to[o] beautiful to pass up The group intends to hurry to Nauvoo and do most of the painting on the liesurly return trip, but we couldn't pass this view up [At Green River City] We stopped for films, ice cream cones, etc, and looked for the post office, but found no place to mail letters People here just stop a passing car to mail a letter.

. . . The group sang and told stories to pass the time. Mrs. Carmack even composed a poem and Mr. Biggs gave good advice.12

Like Geneva's travel diary, Effie Carmack's narrative poem tells the story of the tour with added charm Besides offering narration, the poem often expresses candid observations like the jovial character of Wilford Biggs, the silent devotion of Georgiana Johnson, or the traces of human toil in the landscape. Her impression of the Wyoming grasslands reveals her thoughtful approach:

We are now in the great sheep country, And some of our company say From a little town called Wamsutter Great loads of wool go away.

The sheep owners shears have been busy, And that with the dampness and cold Has proven too much for the old and the weak, And they've gone to the good shepherds fold

We came to a hill so long and so steep That our old bus groaned and steamed; We halted and sketched while it cooled off a bit And the sun on our sketch pads beamed Near the place called Lyman we passed the graves of three of the pioneers. We read their names and pitied the ones Left to take the long trail in tears.

The next is the place that is called Church Butte13

Where the emigrants stopped to pray

Auid give thanks to their maker for guiding their feet

To water along the way—

Water—that lifegiving, soulcheering sight,

12 Ibid. Mrs Carmack later recalled, ".. when we were sailing along an d everyone was writing industriously, Professor Larsen ha d the driver stop the bus, an d told us that we were no t going on this trip to write diaries, but to sketch and paint along the way, an d to be ready to put finishing touches on ou r sketches in the evening H e said that h e would have a reading of all the diaries so far, an d then he would choose the best on e an d have that on e keep the diary the rest of the trip, an d the others should spend their time o n art

I ha d written my diary in rhyme, an d the committee voted for m e to be the one to keep the record of the trip. They suggested that the others give m e copies of their snapshots of the trip, an d in return I would give each of them a copy of the diary." Effie M Carmack, Down Memory Lane: The Autobiography of Effie Marquess Carmack (Atascadero, Calif: Atascadero News Press, 1973), p. 162. A new edition of Effie Carmack's autobiography, edited by Karen Lynn Davidson, is forthcoming

13 A photograp h of th e grou p at Churc h Butte is shown unde r th e title "Art Caravan Follows Mormo n Trail," Deseret News, July 4, 1936.

140 Utah Historical Quarterly

No wonder their hearts were raised After long dry reaches of prairie waste In prayers of thanksgiving and praise

The Green River next appeared to our view, That stream of historic fame; It has been the subject in story and art Of many a noted name

Our driver shaved while we sketched the bend With its cliff that frowned above, An island with willows, big trees on the bank, A place any artist would love.14

Instead of continuing north to South Pass, the group took U.S. Highway 30 toward Cheyenne Before arriving at the Wyoming capital, however, the group stopped at Summit, a Forest Service observation tower southeast of Laramie. At this vantage point the artists felt compelled to break out their sketchpads. The scenic vista was like no other they had yet experienced. As Geneva described it,

This is a real beauty spot one of the finest. I stood on the observation tower and could see hundreds of miles This is like a rounded nole in the middle of a plain with mountains, probably 300 miles awayin every direction The Rockies to the west are snow capped The view can only be compared with that of Mount Bauldy or Old Mt Timp The ranger says the trees are lodge pole pine but they are so norald and twisted with a different character in each The artists are all thrilled and made a lot of sketches Even Mrs. Curtis felt so good she got one and Thera Lou produced a masterpiece.15

But the pressing itinerary required them to leave before finishing their work. Understandably, the group was slow-footed when returning to the bus. Effie remembered amusingly,

We hated to leave it, our sketches half done, But Cheyenne must be reached by dusk, We made it a rule to not drive after dark, So leave the old hilltop we must.

We piled in the bus and were moving away

When we heard Mrs Curtis bemoaning

"Miss GeorgianaJohnson's still painting away"

She almost got left in Wyoming

When nearing Cheyenne on the left of the road

Some queer looking cattle we spied, With humps on their shoulders and odd looking heads, That all close inspection defied.16

14 Effie M Carmack, "Story of The Pioneer Trails Art Tour," typescript [June 17-July 22, 1936], pp 2-3, BFL; photocopy in my possession

15 Larsen, "Art Tour" Diary, Jun e 17, 1936

16 Carmack, "Story of The Pioneer Trails Art Tour," p 4

Pioneer Frail Art Four, 1936 141

After a night's stay outside Cheyenne, the trekkers crossed the Wyoming-Nebraska line. But before leaving the Platte River trail crossing at Maxwell (east of the town of North Platte), the bus gave out. Making the best of their misfortune, the artists investigated the local environs, paint boxes in-hand. Geneva noted: "While we waited for our buss to be repaired at Maxwell we walked a mile South to the north Platt and painted; That evening we stayed at a hotel[;] next morning our buss . . . had another trouble before we got the first cured. Biggs promised a painting to the garage man if. . . [he] would show us the interesting things in the vicinity."17

The following day, as repairs continued, the artists took a rented truck to Sioux Lookout near Fort McPherson. They climbed to the summit where Indian scouts had once spied passing wagon trains. By mid-afternoon the bus was ready to move. The group reached the town of Kearney before sunset but decided to stop for the night at a nearby campground.

In Omaha the next morning the artists found enough diversions to occupy most of the day. They visited the Winter Quarters monument under construction, the pioneer graveyard, and the art shops and museum. Some miles east of present Council Bluffs, Iowa, the group made another lengthy stop at the Mount Pisgah monument marking an important Mormon Trail way-station. The artists painted views of the monument overlooking the river valley

When they arrived at Montrose, Iowa, across the river from Nauvoo, Illinois, the artists took the ferryboat City of Nauvoo across the Mississippi. After crossing the backwater created by the Keokuk Dam downstream, the group disembarked at the Nauvoo House landing Effie again recorded her impressions in verse:

We've had our first glimpse of the river With Nauvoo, the lovely, in sight, But Catholic church spires point to the sky where once our loved temple gleamed white The dam they have built on the river Has made it look more like a lake; A horseshoe bend circles the city It winds on its way like a snake.18

Although much of the township had deteriorated, a few of the principal residences and landmarks still stood. In her diary, Geneva Larsen described the rustic appearance of the enduring structures:

17 Larsen, "Art Tour" Diary, Jun e 20, 1936

18 Carmack, "Story of The Pioneer Trails Art Tour," pp 6-7

142 Utah Historical Quarterly

"The greater part of the old homes have disappeared. The [majority of the] ones still standing are built of a scarlet brick which age has softened."19

After unloading their baggage at the Nauvoo House, the group was invited to attend a meeting of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by a Mr Page, the hotel caretaker There, the artists enjoyed his inspiring discourse on the rise of Nauvoo and the martyrdom ofJoseph and Hyrum Smith. As a host, Mr. Page was

19 Larsen, "Art Tour" Diary, June 21, 1936.

if •• ,'
Painting along the Mississippi nearJoseph Smith's homestead. Courtesy of the IDS Historical Department Archives. TheJoseph Smith Homestead, oil painting by Effie M. Carmack. Courtesy of John K. Carmack.

unequaled. Under his kind hospitality, the artists stayed two weeks at the Nauvoo House. He introduced them to local citizens and directed them to historical highlights in the area. They slept, cooked, and ate at the Nauvoo House, using many of the same furnishings and utensils that had been in use during Emma Smith's lifetime.

After settling in, the artists began working in earnest:

Each morning we sallied forth lugging Our easels, stools, canvas and paint, We usually worked until evening, And straggled in hungry and faint We found many beautiful buildings— They built for endurance those days, Their heavy wood doors staunch and rigid They show that good work really pays.

There are many old buildings still standing, Some almost a hundred years old That are still firm and solid as ever, With memories more precious than gold Not only for strength, but for beauty

They built in that short Golden Age, Carving woodwork and stone into symbols That stand out on history's page. 20

In a town of about one thousand inhabitants, the caravan aroused no small interest. Not long after they arrived on Sunday, the press correspondents were sent out to cover the story The Fort Madison Evening Democrat sent a reporter and photographer to take pictures and get interviews. But even before Nauvoo's weekly paper went to press on Thursday, nearly all the locals had already heard about the art caravan from Utah.21

Nauvoo became the fulcrum of the tour. Most of the artists had some familial connection with the Mormon settlement and were not about to pass the time without gathering histories as well as visually documenting the sites. While George Strebel took photographs, many of the students collected relics and interviewed old-timers who remembered Emma Smith, her children, and other early Nauvooans. Among the historic sites the visitors painted and photographed were the Nauvoo House, the site of the Nauvoo Temple, the scene of the organization of the women's Relief Society, and the Joseph Smith Mansion House A visit to the Carthage Jail gave the artists one of the


144 Utah Historical Quarterly
20 Carmack, "Story of The Pioneer Trails Art Tour," p 7 Larsen, "Art Tour" Diary, Jun e 27, 1936 See "Utah Artists are Visiting Nauvoo Scenes," (Fort Madison) Evening Democrat, Jun e 25, 1936; "Party of Artists Visiting Nauvoo," Nauvoo Independent, Jun e 25, 1936; "Art Students from Utah at Nauvoo House," (Burlington) Daily Hawk-Eye Gazette, June 25, 1936

more solemn experiences of their stay. They were also invited into many RLDS, Catholic, and Protestant homes where they were treated warmly. Effie Carmack expressed the urgency the group felt to record places and events:

There were so many old folks to visit, And so many things to do, That although we worked every minute, Our two weeks fairly flew There were deeds, wills and maps to copy, And bits of old history rare, And photos and sketches and paintings

To be caught the short time we were there.22

Although the artists took time to enjoy the curiosities of local history, they had much to accomplish. Evidently, the artists were so engaged by the local subjects, as well as by Larsen's valued instruction, that they decided to forfeit the proposed trip to Chicago to allow for more time in Nauvoo. Geneva commented, "The artists are all painting pictures. Most of them work on two each day. I bieleve this is the best group of students B. F. Larsen has ever had the privelege to instruct They certainly are a delightfull group to be with."23 Effie later recalled the energetic stimulation of working together and having group critiques:

We all painted every day. Then, in the evening, we exhibited our pictures and professor Larsen criticized them I had never used very brilliant colors in my paintings, and they all teased me, and would say, "Here comes Carmack and her pictures that look like an Arizona dust storm had struck them." But I didn't care, I liked to reproduce the natural colors as I see them, and I liked the results.24

Because of their interpretive field work, the students' paintings captured a sense of time and place Most of the oil paintings had a natural, spontaneous quality as did the loosely rendered watercolor sketches. MaryJensen and Ethel Strauser were considered by their fellow students to be the most proficient in sketching with line and watercolor. Thera Lou Olsen not only showed marked skill in draftsmanship but also in the application of oil colors.

A crucial ingredient to the success of the tour was the increasing unity that made the day-to-day activities run smoothly In the evenings the students took on household chores:

22 Carmack, "Story of The Pioneer Trails Art Tour," p 8

23 Larsen, "Art Tour" Diary, Jun e 25, 1936

24 Carmack, Down Memory Lane, p 163

Pioneer Frail Art Four, 1936 145

We worked every day until sunset, Then cooked and ate supper by night, Then slept soundly six or eight hours, And up and away at daylight

The women took turns at the cooking, The men brought the water and wood And helped with the dishes at evening, Each one doing all that he could.25

The daily routine of carrying out domestic chores together exemplified the harmonious spirit of the group. Each artist seemed to understand the importance of preserving the group's unity.

Sadly, the artists prepared to leave onjuly 4 to make room for incoming summer students. Several townspeople came to bid them farewell as they loaded their belongings on the bus. By the time they left, the mid-day heat was almost unbearable. The sun had made the bus a virtual oven. 26

At Bloomfield they stopped for cold soda pop during the Fourth of July festivities. They must have been somewhat relieved farther along the road to see the green vegetation at Garden Grove, another Mormon Trail station east of Council Bluffs. They took this opportunity to find relief in the shade and see a few more important sites. Their brief sightseeing jaunt was made all the more pleasant when a

146 Utah Historical Quarterly
Ruins at Nauvoo, watercolor sketch by Mary Jensen, 1936. Courtesy of the Museum of Art, Brigham Young University. All f rights reserved. Carmack, "Story of The Pioneer Trails Art Tour," p 8 See "Art Caravan Turns Home," (Provo) Sunday Herald, July 5, 1936

woman offered to point out the old places in town, including the meetinghouse and early historic homes. She also took them to the old pioneer graveyard where they spent much of the time paying their respects to the ill-fated Saints Lamentably, however, many of the gravesites had not been maintained, and some markers lay scattered about in nearby pastures.27

Passing through Council Bluffs and crossing into Nebraska, the group stopped in what is now called Florence, a suburb of Omaha, and once again visited the old Mormon supply settlement of Winter Quarters. Here, they revived their previously aroused interests in the pioneer remnants. "We spent the day at the old Mormon Cemetary," Geneva noted, "Painting a Hory wind marked tree The work being done on this spot is progressing They are to erect the Tragedy of Winter Quarters by Avard Fairbanks."28 At this site many weary Saints endured bitter cold during the winter of 1846-47. As a way-station it provided later Mormon emigrants with needed provisions for the rest of the journey. As one might expect, the artists found a number of fascinating sites and structures to paint. Effie wrote:

We sketched the old mill on the west side of town, 'Twas once a great source of supply

In furnishing caches when food could be had For emigrant hordes passing by. We spent one whole day in the graveyard In a gale that was hard to endure, We weighted our easels with boulders, But that wasn't always the cure.

Loren Covington's picture was perfect When "wallop!" it went in the dirt, That wasn't the only disaster, Mine [gave] me ajolter that hurt. They acted like sails on a sailboat, and pulled like a Percheron team, But the wind and the hilltop were better Than the lowlands, mosquitoes and steam.

The last day they tried the bank building, It's about the same age as the mill, I was lazy and sketched the clerks faces, The vault and the safe—sitting still

27 "Artists From Utah Visit Town Sunday," (Garden Grove) Gazette-Express, July 8, 1936

28 The monument was dedicated on September 20, 1936 See Joh n A Widtsoe, "'Winter Quarters' Is Immortalized in Stone," Improvement Era 39 (October 1936): 595-97, and "Winter Quarters Dedication Scenes," Improvement Era 39 (December 1936): 776-77

Pioneer Frail Art Four, 1936 147

We found the old pawn shop that evening And bought a sweet sounding guitar29 To help keep our harmony closer, They can now hear our noise from afar.30

Once again the local community became enamored of the students' work, and a few business people expressed interest in purchasing paintings of the more prominent structures. Thera Olsen's Bank of Florence Nebraska was purchased on commission by R. H. Hall, the vice-president of the institution.31

Onjul y 10, after camping at North Bend, the bus continued heading west. Geneva scribbled a few lines: "We are now near Grand Island, drawing and photographing buffalo, a herd of 8 cows 3 bull and 5 calves in a field beside the road by a pond."32 That morning storm clouds had begun to roll in, eventually bringing new challenges. Then, that evening, by the time they reached Chapell, some eightyfive miles east of the Wyoming border, the bus had run out of gas and suffered a flat tire.

The next landmarks the artists hoped to paint were Chimney Rock and Scotts Bluff, prominent sites along the North Platte River. The students were well on their way to finishing their pieces at Chimney Rock when a cloudburst cut their diversion short. Farther along, at Scotts Bluff, they were able to create a few finished landscapes. Near the foot of the Bluff stood the homestead of Tony Kempfer where the group decided to set up camp.

On Sunday night, July 12, perhaps by the glow of the campfire, the artists decided to name their group in recognition of the friendships they had forged on their journey. As a nostalgic reminder of the color of the summer landscape, "It was resolved that this club should be called 'The Yellow Ochre Club.' The pass word should be (which I hope) motto (I's Have it.) Theme Song (Fair Thee well for I must leave Thee.)"33

On Wednesday they passed through Guernsey, Wyoming, crossed the Platte Bridge, and turned east to a chalk cliff on the Oregon Trail. Geneva wrote:

29 "It was a good guitar," Effie wrote, "and we were glad to have it. From then on we sang our way along We had a theme song as we were leaving the towns We sang, 'Fare thee well, for I must leave you.' It is a miracle what an old guitar can do for a group of pretty good singers Every evening we had a song fest Most of the group could sing, and enjoyed it." Carmack, Down Memory Lane, p 162

30 Carmack, "Story of The Pioneer Trails Art Tour," p 10

31 "Landmark on Pioneer Trail," Salt Lake Tribune, September 6, 1936.

32 Larsen, "Art Tour" Diary

33 /feLJulyl2, 1936

148 Utah Historical Quarterly

There old rocks are worn by wagon wheels from four to six feet deep. We sketched and photographed them. These ruts are in Solid rock and are about the only places that the wheel marks are not destroyed We arrived at a little town 4 miles East of Casper and camped two nights. At Casper we had our photos developed[;] by taking several hundred they made us a special price of 3$ each.34

By this time the daily travel and the stress of managing the tour was beginning to affect Professor Larsen's health. During their stop outside Casper, Geneva wrote, "Daddy [B. F. Larsen] is a little ill[,] a sinas Headache. He does more work managing the Tour than teaching. The ordering and distributing of several hundred pictures from about five cameras to a crowd of 17 took at least a day."35

Ibid., July 15, 1936

Ibid. See also "L.D.S Artists' Caravan Starts Homeward Journey," (Provo) Sunday Herald, July 19,

Beyond Casper the group stopped to visit the notable landmarks of Independence Rock and Devil's Gate. Near Devil's Gate they saw the cliffside called Martin's Cove where Captain Edward Martin's handcart company suffered decimating starvation during the winter of 1856 while waiting for supplies from Salt Lake City. The group found these landmarks perhaps the most awe-inspiring of the trip. The view across the Sweetwater River provided a breathtaking panorama. B. F. Larsen's painting, Devil's Gate, was delightfully vigorous and painterly. Ethel Strauser produced a wonderful interpre1936

Pioneer Frail Art Four, 1936 149
The artists examined deep ruts on the Oregon Trail near Guernsey, Wyoming, 1936. Courtesy of the LDS Historical Department Archives.

tation of the Sweetwater River Valley. From the valley of the Sweetwater, a gentle climb took them to the rolling saddle of South Pass on the Continental Divide where water flows west to the Pacific and east to the Atlantic. The pioneers who had gone before them must have felt disheartened at this site as they looked toward the desert lands ahead, for they had not enjoyed the convenience and comfort of a tour bus. Describing the artists' passage into the Wyoming desert, Effie wrote:

We came down the slope helter-skelter, The miles and the minutes flew by, Past Church Buttes and on to Fort Bridger, Where we planned to find old Fort Supply

There were so many things here historic, We hardly knew which we should do, The old Mormon well—the first school house, The Pony Express stables, too.

There's a fine man that keeps the museum, So many old truths he can tell He has many a priceless old relic, And unwritten stories as well.

We went out some twelve miles from Bridger And found ruins of old Fort Supply,

150 Utah Historical Quarterly
Near Martin's Cove, Wyoming, 1936, oil painting by Effie M. Carmack. Courtesy of the Museum of Art, Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

The stumps of the stockade still showing, With rocks of their chimneys nearby.36

During the last few days of the tour the artists expressed sadness at the thought of the expected completion of their experience. At Fort Bridger, on the last night of the trip, the artists gathered around the campfire to roast marshmallows, sing, and reminisce. Effie conveyed her sense of frustration that remaining time was soon to expire:

From Fort Bridger straight to the valley, Can it be that our time has all gone, I haven't done all that I meant to, The calendar must be all wrong I sketched the old millstone and furtrap, A skillet, some blacksmith had made, Got the pony express stables outlined, Then I began feeling afraid

That my many belongings were scattered, So 'twould take me an hour to pack The old bus was getting her load on, So I made a mad rush for our shack

'Twas three, and we left at three-thirty, Andjust after dark that night Aswe rounded a curve down the canyon The valley lights burst on our sight. Some brighter, this view, than the first one, The lights stretching far into space, A prophet's eye saw this in vision, When he looked and said, "This is the place."37

After visiting nearly all the important landmarks along the trail, the group entered the valley in time to participate in the Pioneer Parade on the morning ofJuly 23.

An inventory of the artists' work revealed that the tour had been very productive In a letter to President Harris onjuly 27, Larsen reported the successful completion of the trip:

I had expected that the time taken in traveling would hamper very much our painting and sketching activities, but to my great surprise we did more work than any summer group that I have ever supervised. During the six weeks we made sketches as follows: 645 pencil sketches, 666 water color sketches, 287 oil sketches This makes a total of 1593 sketches, besides a number of pen and ink and pastel pieces. More than 1000 photographs were taken on the trip. I believe this is an all-time record for work.38

36 Carmack, "Story of The Pioneer Trails Art Tour," p 16

37 Ibid., p. 16

38 B F Larsen to Franklin S Harris, July 27, 1936, BFL See "Artist's Caravan Returns from Successful Art Tour," (Provo) Sunday Herald, July 26, 1936

Pioneer Frail Art Four, 1936 151

Besides several one-man shows in their respective church meetinghouses, the artists received considerable attention for their work along the trail. The unforeseen success of the tour prompted a full season of exhibitions throughout the state. The exhibit originally scheduled for the University Gallery at BYU in late September was moved to the Jade Room of the Hotel Utah during October 2-5 to draw a larger audience during the LDS General Conference. The BYU exhibit was postponed until Leadership Week also to allow for wider viewing. In mid-October, P. A. Barkdull, head of the Logan City schools, requested the works to be displayed in Logan during the month of November Ralph Huntsman asked that the exhibit be shown at Dixie College during their annual Leadership Week and the remainder of the month of January.

As it turned out, the greater availability of space at BYU permitted a larger body of work to be shown The BYU exhibit ran from January 25 toJanuary 29, 1937. It included the oil sketches as well as a group of watercolors and the photographs taken by George Strebel. A few of the more noteworthy pieces that were exhibited included Larsen's vista of Platte River at Scott's Bluff Nebraska, First School in the Rockies at Fort Bridger, Joseph Smith's Mansion House, and Fhe Orson Hyde Home by Viola Hale.39

Interest in the tour continued for a short time. Although local curiosity was sustained during Leadership Week, patron enthusiasm diminished thereafter One concerned woman wrote to Larsen suggesting that he issue "a set of prints made from these paintings and mounted as a booklet. . . ."40 To encourage other students to cultivate a similar vein of camaraderie, the artists proposed a continuing art group or guild. The Deseret News reported that "The spirit ofjolly good fellowship and co-operation among the artists resulted in the formation of the Yellow Ochre Club which the members desire to perpetuate. It may be that it will become permanent, and students of B.Y.U. who make outstanding achievements in art will be admitted."41

39 The Western

1936; "At the Galleries," Deseret News, August 8, 1936; "Sketches Made on Old Trail to Form Show," Salt Lake Tribune, August 9, 1936; "Group of 'Mormon Art Tour' Oil Paintings will be Exhibited," The YNews, September 11, 1936; "B.Y.U to Exhibit Mormon Trail Paintings at Hotel Utah," Deseret News, September 26, 1936; "Pictures Painted Along Old Mormon Trail in Exhibit," Salt Lake Tribune, September 27, 1936; Deseret News, October 3, 1936; "Salient Items in 'Mormon Trail Show,'" Salt Lake Tribune, October 4, 1936; "Pictures of Old Mormon Trail Attract Attention of Visitors," Salt Lake Tribune, October 5, 1936; "Logan Asks for Tour Pictures," The Y News, October 16, 1936; "Old Mormon Trail Exhibit at Logan," Salt Lake Tribune, October 18, 1936

40 Ida E Skinner to B F Larsen, August 26, 1936, BFL

11 Carlton Culmsee, "Spiritual Significance of an Art Tour," Deseret News [Church Section], August 15,1936

152 Utah Historical Quarterly
Artist [Denver Artist Guild], July-August,
Pioneer Frail Art Four, 1936 153
The Sweetwater River and Devil's Gate in Wyoming, oil paintings by B. F. Larsen, 1936. Courtesy of the Museum ofArt, Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Unfortunately, it appears that the 'Yellow Ochre Club" was shortlived. Except for an unpublicized trip to northern Arizona the following year, little was heard of the group since most of the participating artists went their separate ways and could not stay to promote the venture.

Even more discouraging, the body of artwork produced by the group was not held together as a complete collection. A number of pieces were dispersed to hang in private homes or in various meetinghouses. Others were simply kept by the families and friends of the artists. Nevertheless, seventeen art tour paintings and numerous sketches and notes by Effie Carmack are in the possession of her grandson Joh n K. Carmack of Salt Lake City. The series of photographs taken by George Strebel was donated to the Church Historian's Office,42 and a few sketches and oils went to permanent collections at BYU and the LDS church.

Not since the Paris art mission in 1890 had a group of Mormon artists been so noted for a season of intensive study. Although they came from a variety of formal and informal artistic backgrounds, each participant made a unique contribution to the memorialization of the Mormon trek west. For those who desire to maintain the enduring legacy of the pioneer exodus, the art tour and the many works its participants produced are worthy of a place in the chronicles of Mormon art and of the overland trek. Perhaps an interested art student will be inspired by these long forgotten works and seek to revive the spirit of the 'Yellow Ochre Club." "

154 Utah Historical Quarterly
42 A number of Strebel's photographs were used to illustrate E Cecil McGavin's, Nauvoo the Beautiful (Salt Lake City: Stevens and Wallis, 1946).

From Emigration Canyon to City Creek: Pioneer Trail and Campsites in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847


brought again to the fore questions about the route of the Pioneer Trail followed by Brigham Young and the Pioneer Company in 1847. It is ironic that the stretch of trail that is perhaps the least well defined is that which is closest to Salt Lake City—the portion from the mouth of

The Pioneers' First View of Salt Lake Valley by Utah artist Lewis A. Ramsey depicts Brigham Young's party on the south side of Emigration Canyon onjuly 24, 1847. Frontispiece in S. A. Kenner's Utah As It Is (1904). Mr. Dixon is a historical archivist in Salt Lake City.

Emigration Canyon to the trail's end on City Creek in what is now downtown Salt Lake City.

The settlement of the Salt Lake Valley obliterated most of the evidence of the trails and campsites, so when interest in historic sites was kindled in later years, differences of opinion as to where events had transpired led to controversy and the misplacement of historical markers.

The study of records left by members of the Pioneer Company, coupled with an understanding of the original geography of the valley, makes it possible, even at this late date, to understand reasonably well the location of the trails and campsites of the founding year

TRAIL OF JULY 22, 1847

In descending Emigration Canyon the Pioneer Company followed the "road" made by the Donner-Reed Party the year before. Finding the mouth of the canyon blocked by trees and rock outcroppings, the ill-fated emigrants chose to avoid these obstacles by climbing a steep hill, since known as Donner Hill, to the south of the canyon. Instead of following their example, the pioneers chose to take the time to clear a road through the dense growth along the creek rather than risk the steep incline of the hill.

This obstacle overcome, William Clayton described the entry into the valley, "... the brethren succeeded in cutting a pretty good road along the creek and the wagons proceeded on, taking near a southwest course. We found the last descent even but very rapid all the way."1 Their route followed Emigration Creek, which runs in a southwesterly course down to the valley floor in a deep ravine. Albert Carrington's account of the descent mentioned the creek: "... as we proceed down [the] run [Emigration Creek] towards the lake, timber 8c brush give out. . . [we] passed on down run 8c camped."2

Historians studying this part of the trail have come to similar conclusions about its direction. In the Pioneer Centennial year of 1947, Preston Nibley wrote of the pioneers ".. . they then followed down Emigration Creek until they came to the banks of another stream, after having traveled five and one half miles in a southwesterly direction."3

156 Utah Historical Quarterly
1 William Clayton'sfournal (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1921), p 311 See entry for July 22, 1847 2 Amasa M Lyman Journal , kept by Albert Carrington, July 22, 1847 Historical Department , Archives Division, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City (hereinafter cited as LDS Church Archives) 3 Preston Nibley, Exodus to Greatness (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1947), p 426

Leland H. Creer, writing the same year, said that they entered the Valley of the Great Salt Lake not over the route identified today as the Emigrant Road (west north-westward along Fifth South Street) but over a route which turned southwestward over the bench, crossing Thirteenth East Street probably near the vicinity of the present Westminster College on Seventeenth South and extending westward until encampment was made near Fifth East, on the north bank of Parleys Creek.4

In 1951 Dale L Morgan gave the most detailed account:

The Mormon wagons, in short, kept down the gulch of Emigration to a point immediately above the present Hogle Gardens Zoo, then to avoid a marsh in the bottoms, pulled up on the benchland to the south, roughly paralleling the present Wasatch Boulevard but a few yards below it to arrive at the bench at the intersection of Wasatch Boulevard and Michigan Avenue, the northeast extremity of the present Bonneville Golf Course. From this point they wound down the sloping plateau to camp on Parleys Creek, in the vicinity of present 5th East and 17th South streets.5

It is probable that, upon reaching the benchland, the pioneers rejoined the Donner-Reed Trail that they had been following until their detour around Donner Hill. David E. Miller made that conclusion in 1957 when he wrote:

... A careful reading of the various accounts leads me to the belief that, after cutting a new road through the mouth of Emigration Canyon, the expedition turned to the southwest near the present location of Hogle Zoo and followed the Donner tracks all the way to where they camped on the evening ofJuly 22.6

To sum up, the pioneers departed Emigration Canyon to the south of the creek, then followed its southwestern course into the valley to the vicinity of what is now Fifth East below Seventeenth South where the creek turned north. From that point the company continued west to the banks of what we know as Parley's Creek where they made camp. 7

4 Leland H Creer, The Founding of an Empire (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1947), p 295

5 Dale L Morgan, ed., "The Journa l of James Frazier Reed," Utah Historical Quarterly 19 (1951): 205n

6 David E Miller, "The Donners Blazed the Mormo n Trail," Salt Lake Tribune Home Magazine, August 25, 1957, p 5 Thanks to Will Bagley for this reference Morgan believed that the trails parted on the benchland with the Donner trail "swinging to the southwest, the Mormon road more to the west." Morgan, "James Frazier Reed," p 206

7 Also making these conclusions are "Entrance of the Vanguard of Utah Pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley," Pioneer, July-August 1953, pp 28-51; Nicholas G Morgan, "Original Pioneer Entrance into the Salt Lake Valley," Treasures of Pioneer History, vol 2 (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1953), pp 34-36; and Eugene E. Campbell, "The Mormo n Migrations to Utah," in Richard D. Poll et al, eds., Utah's History (Provo: BYU Press, 1984), p. 125.

Emigration Canyon to City Creek 157


Thomas Bullock described the campsite in hisjournal: "... after wading thro thick grass for some distance, we found a place bare enough for a camping ground, the grass being only knee deep, but very thick; we camped on the banks of a beautiful little stream which was surrounded by very tall grass."8 The location of this campsite was pinpointed in later years by one of the pioneer company, Charles A. Harper, who was interviewed by a Salt Fake Fribune reporter for the Utah Pioneer Jubilee in 1897: "He says there seems to be some difference of opinion as to where the pioneers camped in the valley According to his statement, the company he was in arrived onjuly 22nd, and camp was made on the bed of Parley's Creek, near the site of President Woodruff's villa." Harper was even more precise when he added a note to his original 1847 diary that the campsite was "nearly opposite Woodruffs home."9 Wilford Woodruffs "villa" was located on his farm on the west side of Fifth East north of Seventeenth South. Parley's Creek ran a short distance to the east.10

TRAIL OF JULY 23, 1847

On the morning ofJuly 23 the company set out for its final destination which had been selected by Orson Pratt's exploring group the previous day. Before moving north, however, "a backtrack about a mile" was made according to Thomas Bullock.11 No mention was made of the reason for the backtrack, but it likely was done to avoid the marshes and tall grass where the waters of Parley's, Emigration, and Red Butte creeks converged, creating an obstacle between the campground and their intended destination on what became known as City Creek. They backtracked probably to the vicinity of what is now Eleventh East below Seventeenth South, at the foot of the bench.

From that point, Bullock records that the company took "a strait road to a small Grove of Cotton Wood Trees on the banks of a beautiful stream."12 The route probably passed through today's Liberty Park ending at approximately Third South and State streets.13

8 Thomas Bullock Journal, July 22, 1847, LDS Church Archives

9 "Fifty Years Ago Today," Salt Lake Tribune, Mav 30, July 22, 1897; The Diary of Charles Alfred Harper (n.p.,1971), p 31

10 "Five Acre Lots in the Big Field" [1850s], Salt Lake County Recorder's Office; copy in LDS Church Archives Plat shows farming lots and stream courses

11 Bullock Journal, July 23, 1847.

12 Ibid

13 Charles A Harper mentions "moving up to the springs in what is now known as Liberty Park."See "Fifty Years Ago Today," May 30, 1897

158 Utah Historical Quarterly


In 1880, at the Pioneer Day celebration in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Erastus Snow discussed the July 23 campsite, putting it into the context of the city that had grown up around it. ".. . on the 23rd we made our camp on City Creek, below Emigration Street [Third South] .. . on the old channel of the creek; the creek dividedjust below this Temple Block, one branch running west and the other south. It was on the south branch of the creek we formed our camp. . . ,"14

The south branch of City Creek, which Snow referred to, crossed Third South mid-block between Main and State streets.15 From this we can deduce that the campground was located on the eastern part of the city block bounde d by Third and Fourth South and Main and State streets. While camped at this site the pioneers' first efforts at settlement began.

When Salt Lake City was surveyed the campsite was divided into lots and distributed to settlers. City Creek's south branch disappeared when its waters were united with the west branch in a channel down North Temple. With the disappearance of recognizable landmarks the location of the campsite shifted in public memory to the nearby Eighth Ward or Washington Square which, beginning in 1860, was the campground for incoming immigrant companies. When a monument commemorating the 1847 campground was erected for the Pioneer Centennial in 1947 it was placed there. 16


Onjuly 24 Brigham Young with the last of the Pioneer Company arrived in the valley. On leaving Emigration Canyon he stopped for a view of the valley below and uttered the immortal words, "This is the right place, drive on," to Wilford Woodruff. It appears that Young's group followed the trail of those who preceded them two days before. One member of the group, Howard Egan, gave a brief description of the route in his diary: "We then left the ravine [Emigration Canyon] and turned to the right and ascended a very steep pitch, where we beheld the great valley of the Salt Lake spreading out before us."17



160 Utah Historical Quarterly
14 The Utah Pioneers (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1880), p 46 W Randall Dixon, "Beautiful Troublesome City Creek," Pioneer, Winter 1996, pp 24—28 Treasures of Pioneer History, vol. 2 (1953), p. 420. 17 Pioneering the West, 1846-1878: Major Howard Egan's Diary (Richmond, Utah: Howard R Egan Estate, 1917), p. 103.

Egan was describing leaving the canyon where it makes a sharp turn to the right, then making the steep climb to the bench on the south. The diary of another member of the group, Heber C. Kimball, also described the entrance into the valley, "A little further we ascended a steep pitch, from whence we beheld the Great Valley of the Salt Lake spreading before us. . . .We found the balance of the road good and rapidly descending for several miles."18

Both accounts mention ascending a steep pitch on leaving the canyon. This would fit the description of the "hogback" which extends along the south side of the creek.19 The mention of a "road" suggests that an established route was being followed. It also seems unlikely that Wilford Woodruff with the ailing Young in his carriage, would have blazed a new trail.

Confirming this conclusion is an account byJames A. Little based on the reminiscences of his uncle, Lorenzo Dow Young. Young had accompanied his brother Brigham Young into the valley on July 24. Little wrote:

A short distance below the mouth of Emigration Canyon is a slight elevation of the table land, generally designated, in the early days of Salt Lake City, as 'The Hog Back,' which hides the valley from the traveler until the top of it is reached. From this point the Pioneers had their first good view of the object of their tediousjourney across the plains—the valley of the Great Salt Lake President Young followed the wagon tracks of those who had preceded him a day or two before into the valley.20

Little's account was supported in later years by historians Creer and Morgan. Wrote Creer: "... it is clear that President Young followed the original Pioneer road into the valley, which turned to the south, not the north at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. . . ."21 Morgan, after describing theJuly 22 trail running to the southwest added: "This, it should be noted, was also the route of Brigham Young two days later."22

The conclusion reached by these historians is not, however, the prevailing view today.

In July 1921 the Mutual Improvement Association of the LDS church erected a concrete marker bearing the legend "This is the place" at a site north of the creek near the mouth of the canyon According to the Deseret News, the marker and accompanying pageant "settled a long

18 Heber C Kimball Journal, kept by William Clayton, July 24, 1847, LDS Church Archives

19 A hogback is actually a formal, topographical term for a long, sharply crested ridge.

-'"James A Little, "1847," The Contributor, vol 4 (November 1882), p 56

21 Creer, The Founding of an Empire, p 20n

22 Morgan, "James Frazier Reed," p 205n; David E Miller, while accepting the southwest route of the July 22 group, believed that Brigham Young took a different route. Miller, "The Donners," p. 5.

Emigration Canyon to City Creek 161

argument as tojust where President Brigham Young first designated the stopping place for the pioneer band."23

The site, called "Pioneer View," was located for the MIA by William W. Riter, a prominent Utah businessman who, at age nine, arrived in the valley a few weeks after Brigham Young Of Riter, the Deseret News stated: "No one living was better acquainted with the history of the early settlement of Salt Lake valley than he and no one could be more confidently relied upon to establish the exact location of the spot from which Brigham Young first looked out over the valley onjuly 24, 1847."24

In his speech at the marker's dedication, Riter defended the choice against those who argued for its location to the south of the creek:

... a good many have claimed that they went over what is called the Hogback—this ridge right below here. Ifyou will go down there and note how the hogback was originally, you will see that was absolutely impossible; but I am inclined to think that even if they could, no view of the valley could be had from that point. That passageway was cut through there, at various times from year toyear; but originally itwas absolutely impassable.25

The erection of the "Pioneer View" marker seemed to settle the matter. When the present monument was erected for the Utah Pioneer Centennial in 1947 it was located not far from the 1921 marker.

23 "Historic Spot Will Be Marked," Deseret News, July 23, 1921

24 "Last Public Address of Utah Veteran," Deseret News, January 17, 1922 The selection of the site was actually made some years earlier See "Monument Site Was Carefully Selected," Church News, April 5, 1947, p 9 In 1917 a wooden marker was placed on the site See Joh n D Giles, "Hike of 1917—Pioneer Trail," Improvement Era 20, September 1917, pp 987-93

25 W W Riter, "Correct Placing of the Monument, Pioneer View," Improvement Era 24, September 1921, p. 973. Hereafter cited as Riter, "Monument."

162 Utah Historical Quarterly d***Pfi
"This Is the Place" marker erected by the MIA in July 1921 is still standing, hidden by brush from easy viewing, east of the elaborate 1947 monument. USHS collections.

Those who disagreed about the site accepted the monument as symbolic. Dale L. Morgan, for example, commented, "The 'This Is the Place Monument' north of the gulch of Emigration serves to commemorate imposingly the historic circumstances of the Mormon arrival in Salt Lake Valley, but is not to be taken as marking the site where Brigham Young got his first sweeping view of the future home of the Saints."26


Onjuly 27 Amasa M Lyman, Sam Brannan, Rodney Badger, and Roswell Stevens rode into the valley, the first arrivals since Brigham Young'sJuly 24 group It is not known what route they took, but since they were on horseback they probably broke their own trail, taking a more direct route to the City Creek camp.

July 29 brought a large body of members of the Mormon Battalion and Mississippi Saints into the valley It is clear that they did create a new trail They crossed to the north side of the creek at the canyon's mouth then headed west, crossing Red Butte Creek and leaving the bench near present Ninth South and Thirteenth East streets. From there the trail turned northwest to the camp on City Creek.27 It is likely that this same trail was taken by those returning to Winter Quarters, which William Clayton mentioned in hisjournal on August 17: "Started out at 8:10 and found the distance to the mouth of the canyon five miles, the difference arising from making a road across instead of following the first one."28

This would also have been the route followed by the large pioneer companies that began arriving in September 1847 Most of the newcomers probably assumed that their trail was that which had been followed by their predecessors on July 22 and July 24. This may explain some of the later confusion on the matter of trails. Among those arriving in October 1847 was William W. Riter.

For the 1848 emigration, the route changed again

In order to avoid interference with the laying out of streets and lots, the road was moved to the north, descending from the bench at the head of Third South, therefore to be known for many years as Emigration Street.29

26 Morgan, "James Frazier Reed," p 205

27 "Extracts from the Journal of Joh n Steele," Utah Historical Quarterly 6 (1933): 17; "A Pioneer's Story," Deseret News Pioneerfubilee Edition, July 24, 1897; Riter, "Monument," p 73

28 William Clayton's Journal, p 347

29 High Council Minutes, July 1, 8, 1848, as published in Kate B. Carter, comp., Our Pioneer Heritage, v. 17 (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1974), p. 111. These minutes describe plans to prepare an emigrant road for incoming travelers.

Emigration Canyon to City Creek 163

As we remember and honor Utah's founders, it is important that their story be told as accurately as possible—avoiding the myths and legends that develop over time. The conclusion of a 1953 article about the trail in the Sons of Utah Pioneers magazine bears repeating: "It is important . . . that historic fact be adhered to and not embellished with unestablished tradition."30

1953, p 51

164 Utah Historical Quarterly
Zgp&r'Z Artist Alfred Lambourne, who arrived in Utah in 1866, published his "first view" of the Salt Lake Valley in his book The Pioneer Trail (1913). 30 "Entrance of the Vanguard of the Utah Pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley," Pioneer, July-August

The Trial of Don Pedro Leon: Politics, Prejudice, and Pragmatism

Stereotypical drawing of a "New Mexican Trader" from George D. Brewerton's Overland with Kit Carson (1930).

I N DECEMBER 1851 AUTHORITIES FROM MANTI, UTAH , arrested eight "Spanish"1 traders from New Mexico, including their leader, Pedro Leon, and eventually brought them to trial in the FirstJudicial Court of Utah Territory in Great Salt Lake City. They were accused of violating the Trade and Intercourse Act of 1834, having allegedly traded without a license with the Ute Indians for nine Indian captives They were found guilty, fined, and, despite appeals and counter suits, eventually returned, disgruntled, to New Mexico where they continued their appeals as high as the commissioner of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C

The Pedro Leon incident has all but faded into short references or footnotes in Utah's history—if it is noted at all.Yet its resulting legislation would have lasting effects on Utah and New Mexico and would play a major role in causing one Indian war in Utah and contributing to another Indian war in New Mexico.2 It is unfortunate that our current histories of the event have become so telescoped and garbled that the truth—let alone the Mexican perception of the incident—has long since faded from view

United States v. Pedro Feon et al. became something of a cause celebre

Sondra Jones, an independent researcher and writer living in Provo, recently completed a master's program in history at Brigham Young University.

1 Court documents consistently refer to the traders as Spanish, while other documents and most historians refer to them as Mexican; however, by 1851 they were all American citizens following the creation of New Mexico Territory by the United States To remain consistent with most historical references, they will generally be referred to here as "Mexican" traders

2 The curtailment of the Mexican-Indian slave trade led directly to the Walker War and was a major contributing factor to the Indian wars in New Mexico/Arizona when slave raiding increased dramatically against Navajos to make up for the loss of captives from Utah See David M Brugge, "Navajos in the Catholic Church Records of New Mexico, 1694-1875." Research Report No 1, Window Rock, Arizona, Navajo Tribe Parks and Recreation Department, 1968, frontispiece, pp 35-38, 147

for a time in Utah and forced the examination and crystallization into formal legislation of policies concerning the legality of Mormon settlement among and trade with the Indians. It also focused attention on the legality of Negro and Indian slavery and raised the question of what to do with the prevalent, though sometimes repugnant, Indian slave trade in which Mormons found themselves active participants.

Thus, although Brigham Young used his influence during the Mexicans' trial to ensure that it was fair, impartial, and just, the political expediency of a guilty verdict to curtail the Mexican trade, combined with a widespread prejudice against Catholic Hispanics in general, almost certainly influenced the results of the trial.

It is not surprising in our age of concern for human rights that this "child-slaver," Pedro Leon, has come down to us through history painted in the black hues of villainy, his defense referred to sneeringly as the excuses of an unscrupulous trader in flagrant disregard for authority and morality, his punishment the just desserts of a sordid dealer in human flesh.3 Nor is it surprising that modern Utah histories, perpetuating the often ethnocentric and Mormon-biased reports of contemporary sources and early historians, have portrayed this incident as the righteous triumph of Mormon officials over the immoral traditions of Mexicans and Indians, clearing the way for colonization and expansion of white settlers—civilization—in Utah.4

Also helping to justify the need to arrest Leon's party has been the inadvertent wedding of the 1851-52 judicial incident with a second, decidedly belligerent and retaliatory, confrontation with New Mexican traders that took place a year later and resulted in military orders against all Mexican trading parties in the territory Because of this historical telescoping of events, Utah historians have been able to vilify the Mexican traders as having been perpetually antagonistic and defiant toward the Mormon settlers and of inciting and arming the Indians against them from the beginning.

But prior to 1853 Mexican traders had peacefully and unobtrusively plied their trade. They became angry and hostile only after the expulsion of Leon and the subsequent passing of laws against nonMormons trafficking in Indian captives

3 For example, see the treatmen t by L. R. Bailey, Indian Slave Trade in the Southwest (Los Angeles: Westernlore Press, 1966), pp 101, 159

4 Standar d original sources include: Brigham Young's "Manuscript History, 1853-1862" (hereinafter BYMH) an d the "Journal History of the Church," bot h in LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City; Young's addresses to the legislature; an editorial in the DeseretNews Weekly by Willard Richards, Novembe r 15, 1851; the cour t findings, published in the Deseret News Weekly, March 6, 1852; an d Daniel W.Jones , Forty Years among the Indians (Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1890), pp 47-58

166 Utah Historical Quarterly

Indian slavery in Utah was a problem. The Mormon settlers observed firsthand the rank cruelty of Ute slavers who consistently mistreated their captives and who destroyed families and bands to obtain them. They could not understand the Mexican traders who perpetuated a custom as unsavory as Indian slavery

But the New Mexicans had grown up in a culture in which the trade in Indian menials and the fostering of Indian children "ransomed" from captors (or captured during Indian wars) was an accepted tradition. Spanish missionaries had found that most Indian adults were resistant to attempts at either conversion or acculturation by the Spanish but that raising Indian children within the Spanish culture and Catholic religion was an effective tool to "civilize" and Christianize Indians. It also provided a great pool of inexpensive menials and children for frontier families.

Although the market for captives led to increased Indian warfare to facilitate and legitimize the acquisition of additional captives, most Mexicans chose to close their eyes to its inherent immorality and the misery it caused. Justified in cultural and ecclesiastical terms as "the exercise of ajust and pious doctrine against pagans and heathens," the practice of obtaining Indian children had become accepted as "the only practical method of civilizing and Christianizing wild Indians."5

As a result, throughout New Mexico and southern Colorado thousands of Indian children, captured or bartered for, were being raised in a twilight realm between indentured menials working off the cost of their "ransom" and upkeep and foster/adopted children.6

Don Pedro Leon was one of many who catered to this market for menials and foster children. Such children were not slaves, he would later argue in justifying himself, but were raised as members of Mexican households where they were taught homemaking or ranching skills and indoctrinated with the Christian religion and were freed upon their majority. Although there were notable exceptions in the treatment of these captives, once placed in homes Indian children were usually treated as well as other children fostered in the family Indeed, Leon himself was probably a descendent of such Hispanicized

5 As quoted in Almon Wheeler Lauber, Indian Slavery in Colonial Times within the Present Limits of the United States (New York: Columbia University, 1913), pp 49-50

6 See a more extensive discussion of this in Sondra Jones, "History of the Indian Slave Trade in New Mexico," chap 3 in "Pedro Leon: Indian-Slavery, Mexican Traders, and the Mormon Judiciary" (M.A thesis, Brigham Young University, 1995) See also, Brugge, "Navajos in the Catholic Churc h Records," pp 99-116

Fhe Frial of Don Pedro Feon 167

Indians, and he raised or stood godfather to several Paiute boys himself.7

Thus both the Mexicans and the Mormon settlers believed their own perspectives on Indian "slavery" werejustified and were at a loss to understand the position of the other As a consequence, the trial of Pedro Leon and his companions became an example of racial, cultural, and religious bias accompanied by the clashing of cultural perspectives.

In addition to the Mormons' concerns about the slave trade's immorality and cruelty, they believed that it perpetuated the intertribal warfare that interfered with their settlements. Thus the political necessity of stopping the trade was every bit as important as the moral imperatives against it.

By 1847 the staple trade item and a major source of wealth for many Ute warriors had become the selling of Indian captives. For over fifty years the primary market for this trade had been the Mexican traders who yearly traveled on the Spanish Trail to rendezvous with the Utes in central Utah. Within weeks of their entrance into the valley of the Great Salt Lake, Mormon pioneers found themselves embroiled in this trade as well. Ute slave traders were soon blackmailing the new settlers into purchasing captives by threatening to kill—or actually killing—captives the Mormons did not buy. At the same time, many destitute, non-equestrian tribes were offering their children for sale to acquire goods for themselves, divest themselves of another mouth to feed, and perhaps to provide better homes for these children.

But the slave raiding perpetuated by the New Mexican "slave" market caused intertribal rivalries that endangered Mormon colonization In 1851, when the Trade and Intercourse Act of 1834 regulating Indian relations was extended over the newly created territories, Mormon officials found in it the tool they needed to combat the Mexican-Indian trade

During the summer of 1851 Don Pedro Leon Lujan, 8 a fifty-

7 Christening records indicate that at least on e of his parents was a "child of the pueblo " of Abiquiu, that is, a genizaro or Christianized Indian Th e same records show him as godfather to two Paiutes, and census records reveal two more Paiute boys in his household and bearing his name. His arguments about treatment of Indian children in New Mexico can be seen in an affidavit submitted in New Mexico: Lafayette Head, "Statement of Mr Hea d of Abiquiu in Regard of the Buying an d Selling of Payutahs—April 30, 1852," Doc #2150, Rich Collection of Papers pertaining to New Mexico, Huntington Library, San Marino, California See Brugge, "Navajos in the Catholic Church Records," pp 99-116; and Frances Leon Swadesh, Los Primeros Pobladores (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1974), pp 23, 60, 153, 218 n 36

s A search of Abiquiu records shows a relatively prominent Don Pedro Leon Lujan active in civic, farming, and Indian trading activities There are no Leons in Abiquiu presently and few in all of New Mexico (Census, christening, military, and Indian agency records)

168 Utah Historical Quarterly

seven-year-old, moderately well-to-do part-time farmer, militia commander, and Indian trader from Abiquiu, New Mexico, went to the new governor and superintendent of Indian Affairs of New Mexico Territory, James Calhoun, to secure a license to trade with the Ute (Yuta) Nation of Indians. The license was issued August 14, 1851, good to November 14, 1851, upon the posting of a thousand dollar bond. Pedro Leon agreed that he and his "aids, assistants, and servants" would comply with "all the rules and regulations, adopted or that may be adopted" by the United States for regulating trade and intercourse with the Utah Indians. He was authorized to trade with the Ute Nation "in their own localities" but only on his own private and individual account.9 However, congressional housekeeping and the Compromise of 1850 had recently formed Utah out of the area between California and the Continental Divide and north of the 37th parallel. Thus, the Ute's "own localities" lay almost completely within Utah Territory, not New Mexico.

Regardless, the trader and his company set out from New Mexico in September 1851, stopping to exchange trade goods on "the other side" (east) of the Rio Grande (likely the San Luis Valley), where a number of other traders were likewise engaged. There Leon traded for horses, mules, and highly valued Ute-tanned buckskins.10

Heading a loosely confederated company of traders, Leon then turned north and westward to take their horses and mules to barter with the Utes of central Utah.11 There is no question that their intention was to trade for captive Indian children since this was the major item of western Ute trade, and horses (and arms) were what Utes

9 Copy of the license issued to Pedro Leon, attached to the Testimony of Brigham Young, Utah Territory, FirstJudicial Court of Utah, United States v. Pedro Leon et al., Doc #1533 [microfiche], Utah State Archives, Salt Lake City The legal requirements for a license were that the applicant be "a citizen of the United States, produce satisfactory testimonials of good character, and give bon d in a penal sum not exceeding five thousand dollars, with one or more sureties, that he will faithfully observe all the laws and regulations made for the government of trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes of the United States, and in no respect violate the same, an d that they will not trade in fire-arms, powder, lead, or other munitions of war Applicants will distinctly state what tribe they wish to trade with, and under a license granted, they will not be authorized to trade with others." James S Calhoun, Indian Agent, November 21, 1849, NMIS RG 75, Letters Received, National Archives, Washington, D.C

10 Deposition of Phillipe Santiago Archuleta, January 16, 1852, U.S. v Pedro Leon et al., p 325 Phillipe was a resident of Taos traveling with his uncle, Miguel Archuleta, and under Leon's leadership

" Leon must have known his license would expire sooner than he could complete his trading; yet the trip must have been planned, for Chief Wakara told George A Smith in March that he expected to meet Spanish traders on the north fork of the Sevier River later that year Leon was one of the Mexican traders who had been trading there annually for years. Arapeen "says that Pedro Leon has been trading with him for years, and Siapand says that Pedro Leon traded with Arapeen's father years ago." Andrew Siler to George A Smith, December 18, 1851, George A Smith Collection, LDS Church Archives It may have been with Leon that Wakara expected to trade See George A Smith, March 18, 1851, "Journal of George Albert Smith (1817-1875), Principal Residence during this Period (1850-1851) Parowan, Utah," typescript, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Special Collections, Provo, Utah.

Fhe Frial of Don Pedro Feon 169

traded for.12 After reaching the Green River, a half dozen of the traders left with Leon to locate the governor and acting superintendent of Indian Affairs, Brigham Young, to display their license to trade and "if it was good to trade with the whites and Indians also, and if the license was not good, to endeavor to get one from the Governor."13

Don Pedro, his license due to expire soon, may have hoped to simply renew it, but the traders did not grasp the significance of the new territorial borders They would later testify that they had a license from an officer in New Mexico giving them "permission to trade with the Utah Indians, [but they] did not know there was any line in the Territories to restrict him from going anywhere."14 This is not surprising since the year before there had been no "line."

Mormons would maintain, and historians continue to write, that Brigham Young's officers stumbled upon the traders in the Sanpete Valley as they pursued their "nefarious traffic" and took the opportunity to "strictly prohibit further traffic." But this is inaccurate, since Leon and his companions had specifically sought out Brigham Young in order to follow legal form for their trade.

At the Provo River, while on his way to Great Salt Lake City, Leon learned that Young was on a tour of the southern counties Young, concerned with the political and civil organization of the young territory, had just established Nephi, chosen the location for the new territorial capitol at Fillmore, and was proceeding toward Manti where his companion, the Honorable Zerubbabel Snow,judge of the First District Court of Utah, was to set up the Second Judicial Court of Utah.

Turning southward, Leon followed the governor as far as the Sevier River, where he discovered that Young was already on his way to Manti. Leon turned back and rendezvoused with his company— twenty-one Mexican traders and their seven servants, along with packs of buckskins and nearly a hundred horses—in Sanpete Valley. Conveniently, this was near where they had expected to trade anyway.


On November 3 Leon approached Brigham Young with his

12 While eastern Utes sold children to the Mexicans, they did not practice the more institutionalized slave raiding and trading that was epitomized by the Utes in central Utah Children sold by eastern Utes appear to have been incidental to regular warfare with other strong tribes or their own children Ome r Stewart, "The Eastern Ute" and "The Western Ute," notes prepared (1973) for his co-authored article, "Ute," in Handbook of the North American Indians, Vol. 11, Great Basin, ed. Warren L. D'Azevedo (Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution, 1986)

13 Archuleta deposition; "Information," published in Deseret News Weekly, March 6, 1852, hereinafter referred to as Court "Information." See also "Journal History of the Church," February 10, 1852

14 Archuleta deposition

15 G A Smith, "Journal," March 18, 1851

170 Utah Historical Quarterly

license and the request that they be allowed to trade with both whites and Indians.16 Unfortunately, the New Mexicans spoke no English and the Mormons spoke no Spanish. The only interpreter available was Daniel Jones, a well-known Indian interpreter but only a fair speaker of Spanish. In Brigham Young's words, "there not being a good Spanish Interpreter present it was difficult to find out the real design or extent of their mission." Nevertheless, he determined that the goal of the New Mexicans was to trade horses and mules for Indian children, a trade that had "been carried on for many years back." At this point, Young as both governor and superintendent of Indian Affairs "pointedly forbade" them trading with the Indians—for anything. He instructed them in the evils of the Indian slave trade and told them that their license was not valid in Utah Territory to conduct any kind of trade with the Indians. Without a new and valid license—which he refused to issue—they would be violating the Trade and Intercourse Act regulating trade with the Indians within the United States. They were permitted to trade with the white settlers and to obtain provisions for their return trip. The New Mexicans, all "employed by Mr. Pedro Leon, as Clerks, Servants, traders etc.," promised to return home. Leon would later complain, perhaps rightly, that he was refused the license "on the grounds that he was not a Mormon."17

At this point (perhaps because his thousand-dollar bond was at stake), Leon and his traders prepared to return to New Mexico and abandoned their plans to trade with the Indians. But the Indians had different ideas.

While the Mexicans were still near Manti following Young's refusal, they were approached by at least one party of Ute traders with whom they refused to trade. Angry at this rejection, these Indians stole five or six horses. The traders complained to Stephen B. Rose, the Mormon Indian sub-agent for the area (also on Young's southern tour). He ordered George Bean, another Mormon Indian interpreter, to see if he could recover the horses and mules from the Indians and return them to the New Mexicans, but Bean was unsuccessful. Fearful

16 Brigham Young testified that this took place on November 1, but other court records and newspaper reports say the meeting took place on the 3rd There may have been more than one meeting

17 Jones, Forty Years, p. 51. Jones claimed to have been the interpreter for the Spaniards. However, some of his recollection of the event is garbled when compared to the official court records See also Deseret News Weekly, December 13 and November 15, 1851; Young testimony, First Judicial Court, "Minutes," January 15, 1852; BYMH, November 7, 1851; Leon's report to John Greiner, acting superintendent of Indian Affairs, New Mexico, and forwarded to Luke Lea, commissioner of Indian Affairs, May 19, 1852, in Anne H. Abel, ed., Official Correspondence offames S. Calhoun (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1915), pp 536-37

Fhe Frial of Don Pedro Feon 171

of more such occurrences, Leon moved the company north to the Spanish Fork River, off the normal trade routes, and let this loss go. 18

Leaving the majority of the party to guard the remaining horses, Leon and a few companions went to Great Salt Lake City to purchase provisions. Upon his return, about November 11 or 12, he discovered that Indians had stolen another six animals three days earlier. Leon immediately told the majority of the party to pack up and leave for Santa Fe by way of the northerly Spanish Fork route, taking with them most of the stock and provisions. He kept only enough horses, mules, and provisions to outfit himself and seven companions in the hope of locating the missing stock and then catching up with the main company by following the shorter trail through Sanpete Valley.19

Leon testified that he sought and received permission from "Mormon authorities" to look for the lost animals,20 and for the next three weeks he and his companions tried to recover their stock. Their first discovery yielded only the hides of two horses, the Indians having apparently butchered and eaten them These Indians gave Vicente Chaves, the owner, a thirty-year-old Indian woman captive as compensation. Subsequently, Miguel Archuleta would also be forced to accept a child in payment for one of his horses, likewise devoured. Sometime later, Arapeen, brother of Wakara, rode abruptly into the New Mexican's camp, caught five horses belonging to Miguel Archuleta and threw down two Indian children, stating that "if he [Archuleta] had a mood to trade he would trade and if he had not he would trade any how." Another Indian caught a horse belonging to Albino Mestes, threw down a child, and rode off without comment

The Mexicans tracked down another band of Indians, but they pointedly refused to return the stolen horses and insisted Leon take a boy and girl in their place as payment. Leon would later claim there had been nearly three hundred Indians in the band against his eight men, though this is probably an exaggeration. Leon would also assert later that his intention was to take the captives back to New Mexico where he would present his case to Governor Calhoun, ask for indem-

18 Archuleta deposition; Court "Information"; Testimony of F A Pomeroy, January 16, 1852, U.S. v Pedro Leon et al, p 329

19 Pomeroy testimony; Court "Information."

20 Greiner to Lea

172 Utah Historical Quarterly
Leon's route would undoubtedly have been the traditional Old Spanish Trail normally traveled by the New Mexican traders into central Utah The northern route for the rest of the company may have been chosen to reduce chances of running into more central Utah Utes

nity for his lost horses, and leave the disposal of the captives to the government.21

Pedro Leon's claims were certainly not new. Mormons themselves had already experienced coercive sales of Indian children from Ute slavers,22 and Leon's experiences were reminiscent of earlier Spanish traders who had reported Indian captives being forced upon them.23

But precedents would not excuse Leon's company On December 5 or 6, while the Spaniards were camped on Salt Creek north of Manti, local Indians informed officials that the Mexican traders were still around and had Indian captives in their possession. These Indians may have been from rival bands to Wakara's raiders (not all Utes were slavers) or simply currying favor with the local officials from whom they received favors—or both. In any case, the result was that a warrant for the Mexicans' arrest was issued by a localjustice of the peace. Leon and his companions were taken into custody by a posse of some forty men; their horses, mules, tack, and Indian captives were confiscated; and the Mexicans were thrown intojail. Here they were unsuccessfully represented by a sympathetic budding attorney, Andrew Siler.

From the beginning the Mexicans feared that they would have a difficult time receiving a fair trial in Utah. The traders voiced concern that local enmity was already affecting their trial: Juan Antonio Baldineros complained to Siler thatJames T. S.Allred, the Manti prosecutor, was their enemy, and that he was trying "to injure them by getting the Indians to Testify against them." Siler would later write to the new attorneys in Great Salt Lake City: "I want to seejustice between man & man and Pedro Leon 8c Co want me to do all I can for them," and he sent Francis Pomeroy as an interpreter whom both the new attorneys and the Spaniards could trust, "as he is an Amigo to them."24

Siler wrote that he was particularly concerned with the subpoenaing of Indian witnesses. Not only were the Indians, as parties to the transactions, equally guilty under the law, but they were also interested

21 Archuleta deposition; Court "Information"; Greiner to Lea By the time Leon returned to New Mexico and lodged his complaint about his treatment in Utah, the number of lost horses had increased from the original twelve to eighteen Also, his "intention" of yielding up his captives seems a bit too altruistic given his years as a slave trader

22 For example, see William J Snow, "Utah Indians and Spanish Slave Trade" and "Some Source Documents on Utah Indian Slavery," Utah Historical Quarterly 2 (1929): 67-76, 76-90

23 In 1813 Mauricio Arze and Lagos Garcia had entered Utah Valley hoping to trade for furs The Utes there refused to trade for furs, demanding instead that they trade for captive children When they refused, several of their horses were killed O n the Green River they were met again by Indian traders who brought children, not furs, to trade; in fear of a repeat attack, they traded for them Testimony, Rio Arriba, September 1813 in R E Twitchell, ed., Spanish Archives of New Mexico (Cedar Rapids, 1914), vol 2, p 478, document #1881 no 7 See also LeRoy R Hafen and Ann W Hafen, Old Spanish Trail: Santa Fe to Los Angeles (Glendale, Calif: Arthur H Clark Co., 1954), pp 85-86

24 Siler to G A Smith

Fhe Frial of Don Pedro Feon 173

parties who stood to gain if the Mexicans were found guilty. He feared they may have thought (or had been led to believe) that they could reclaim the forfeited children if the traders were found guilty. Arapeen was already boasting that he had traded a child for the Spanish horse he was riding around the community at the time of the Manti trial, but Baldineros contended that the horse in question had actually been stolen "out of the corell at this place after the Spaniards were injail 8c their horses in the custody of the sheriff."25

On December 9 the Manti court notified Judge Snow in Great Salt Lake City that they had found the traders guilty of "the crime of trading with the Indians of this County 8c Territory without license."26 Stephen B. Rose was sent to investigate. Upon his return he filed an affidavit in the First District Court, and the clerk issued a warrant for the arrest of Pedro Leon and the members of his company. 27 Marshal Joseph L. Heywood was sent to bring the Mexicans and their confiscated property (now "officially" seized by an officer of the court) to Great Salt Lake City to be tried before the First District Court.28

The political climate had a significant impact on the trial In 1851 Utah and New Mexico territories were in the midst of the national turmoil over slavery, and the legality of slavery in Utah Territory was a significant issue Further militating against the Mexicans, only two months earlier a conflict between Mormons and Utah's new federal appointees had left the Utah courts controlled by Mormons and with no Supreme Court to which to appeal when two of the three district courtjudges and the Indian agent fled the territory as part of the exodus of Utah's "run-away" federal officials.29

25 Ibid

26 Elijah Averett, JP, and Titus Billings, JP, to Zerubbabel Snow, December 9, 1851, Brigham Young Collection, box 47, fd. 36, LDS Church Archives.

27 The members of the remaining company were: Phillip Santiago Chaves (Archuleta), Miguel Archuleta, Jose Samuel Gomes, Juan Antonio Baldineros, Jose Albustos (or Albino) Mestes, and Vicente Chaves. The names of the Spanish traders are a little difficult to decipher from the records inasmuch as they were recorded by men who obviously did not speak Spanish and rendered the names in various phonetic spellings.

28 Greiner to Lea; Court "Information"; Affidavit of S B Rose, Indian subagent, December 13, 1851, U.S.v. Pedro Leon et al., pp.161-62; Warrant of arrest, December 13, 1851, and December 29, 1851, ibid., pp 157-58; Archuleta deposition

29 Edwin B Firmage and Richard Collin Mangum, Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of the Church of fesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1988), pp 264-65, 214-15 Shortly after the creation of the territory the control of the Utah civil judiciary had been shifted to a supreme court made up of the federally appointed justices who were to preside over the territory's three judicial districts These civil courts were to adjudicate non-Mormon cases or criminal actions (Mormons were expected to have their misunderstandings arbitrated by ecclesiastical courts) However, some federally appointed gentile officials found themselves almost immediately embroiled in conflicts with Mormo n leaders, and they left to make complaints in Washington (They included Judges Perry E Brocchus and Lemuel G Brandebury.) Shortly thereafter the legislature extended broad jurisdiction to local probate courts, and Judge Snow was authorized to serve in all three districts until newjudges could be appointed by the president.

174 Utah Historical Quarterly

On December 29 a special court session was convened to try the case of United States v. Pedro Feon et al. The witnesses subpoenaed included Brigham Young and other Mormons, Mexicans, and Indians, including the wily Arapeen. 3 0 Judge Zerrubbabel Snow, one of the original three district courtjudges and a Mormon, presided, and Seth M Blair, U.S attorney for the territory, was the prosecutor Blair, the first U.S. attorney appointed for the new Utah Territory, was a southerner, a former major in the Texas Rangers, and a veteran of the Mexican-American War. He has been characterized as wise, tactful, and "knowing all about the Mexican character, having been in the Texan war [for independence]," but he was also a man of decided prejudices against blacks and Mexicans.31

The defense attorneys for the Spanish traders wereJosiah Slayton and George A. Smith. Smith had only recently returned from helping to found settlements in southern Utah where he and his neighbors were, at this time, all actively purchasing Indian children He was acquainted with the notorious slaver Wakara from whom settlers frequently purchased children. Smith's own first encounter with the southern Utah Indians had occurred earlier in the year when he took a twelve-year-old Paiute boy in compensation for a slaughtered ox. Within a year, one traveler would note that almost every Mormon family in Santa Clara (southern Utah) had one or two Indian children they had purchased from the Indians.32

The court also called ajury of "good and lawful men" from Great Salt Lake City. William McBride, a forty-five-year-old blacksmith, acted as foreman. Others included men ranging from common laborers to a shoemaker and a stonecutter to a doctor.33 George Bean served as the Indian interpreter, and Francis Pomeroy was the Spanish interpreter.34

30 U.S. v Pedro Leon et al, misc docs., pp 159-76, 323-24 Witnesses included James Allred, Antonio Jose Gallegos, Brigham Young, Isaac Morley, Albert Carrington, Daniel Jones, George Bean, Francis Pomeroy, and the Indians Arapeen and Sequite

31 "Seth M. Blair," Kate B. Carter, comp., Our Pioneer Heritage, vol. 2 (Salt Lake City: Daughter of Utah Pioneers, 1959), pp 48-49; Seth Millington Blair, obituary, copy with "Reminiscences and Journals, 1851-1868," MSS (microfilm), LDS Church Archives Blair was ardently pro-Confederacy during the Civil War In a letter to a friend he referred to the North as "the old negro worshiping government of Uncle Sam alias (Devil) ."; Jones, Forty Years, 52

32 G A Smith, "Journal," December 1850, pp 10-12; and March 12, 21, and 25, 1851, pp 46-47, 49-50; "History of Zilpha Stark Smith," in G A Smith, "Journal," p 85; Gwinn Harris Heap, Central Route to the Pacific (Philadelphia, 1854), p 91

33 William McBride, Darwin Richardson, George D. Grant, Daniel Allen, Jacob Houtz, James A. Cheney, Stephen Law, Guy Keysor, Joseph E Book, Joseph G Hovey, and William Jones U.S. v Pedro Leon et al, pp 239-40 According to 1850 U.S Census records, McBride, the foreman, was related to Manti residents where the original arrests took place

34 George Bean, "Diaries,"January 2, 1852, MSS (microfilm 920 #10), Special Collections, Harold B Lee Library, BYU Francis Pomeroy was recommended to George A Smith by Andrew Siler, and his testimony appears in his deposition in U.S. v Pedro Leon et al., pp 329-30

Fhe Frial of Don Pedro Feon 175

The main issue of the trial was the traffic in Indian slaves, and much of the testimony concerned its evil influence. The Mexicans' moral and political offense was possessing Indian slaves. Since slavery itself was not illegal in Utah, the Mexicans could not be tried simply for having slaves in their possession. Consequently, the Mexicans were accused and tried for the only law that they had violated, the federal act regulating trade with Indians.

The Trade and Intercourse Act of 1834 had originally been passed by Congress to regulate commerce in the newly created Indian Country. If found guilty, a trader would be fined a mandatory $500 and his merchandise confiscated. At the time of the Mexicans' trial the court had in its possession, and the United States claimed forfeiture of, ten mules, six horses, a "squaw" (thirty years old), eight Indian children (ages seven to twelve), and some miscellaneous "goods,wares, [and] merchandise"— but, notably, no firearms.35

For a verdict of guilty, the jury would have to determine that the defendants had knowingly, and willingly, traded with the Indians without holding a valid license to trade in Utah Territory.36 If the jury found that the Mexicans' claim of a forced trade was merely a "device to evade the law," they would be guilty of having traded without a license.


The court found that Leon had the only license and that it was invalid for trade in Utah. Thejury also concluded that the traders were

35 Seth Blair, "Information in Libel," December 1851, U.S. v Pedro Leon et al., pp 167-70

36 Court "Information." Unless otherwise noted, the discussion of the trial comes from this newspaper account of the proceedings

176 Utah Historical Quarterly
Marshal Joseph L. Heywood. All photos from USHS collections. Zerubbabel Snow.

lying about being coerced into trade. On January 1, 1852, after a three-day trial and without a lengthy deliberation, the Jury returned a verdict of guilty. Pedro Leon was found to be indebted to the United States in the sum of $500, and the Mexicans' horses, mules, tack and buckskins were turned over to Marshal Heywood for sale, the proceeds of which were to go toward paying the fine.37

Seth Blair then petitioned the court to sell the "confiscated" Indian captives to help pay court costs. Since slavery was legal in the United States in 1851, and since it had not been prohibited in Utah, nor had any laws specifically against Indian slavery been passed, Blair argued that the "slaves" confiscated with the rest of the Mexicans' merchandise were property, along with the buckskins and mules, and could be disposed of for value by the court the same as black slaves could have been.38

But Slayton, acting as attorney

"Januar y 1, 1851, U.S. v Pedro Leon et al., pp 239-40 Leon told Greiner that each trader was fined $50, which they promptly paid (Greiner to Lea,), but the court recorded only the $500 fine against Pedro Leon

38 Blair's arguments were based on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which authorized the extension of existing laws over the new territories created from the acquisition of Mexican lands; Blair erroneously assumed that Indian slavery had bee n legal in Mexico and thus in New Mexico and Utah Actually, Indian Defense attorney George A. Smith. slavery and the trade in Indian captives had been specifically prohibited by Spain and Mexico as early as the sixteenth century, making Indian slavery specifically illegal in both New Mexico and Utah, although the laws were generally flouted and judicially ignored. See September 13, 1778, bando (edict) issued to control flow of contraband to borde r tribes by prohibiting unlicensed trade with Indians (generally ignored); 1812 bando prohibiting purchasing or trade in captives from Utes (again, generally ignored).

Reviewed in L R Bailey, Indian Slave Trade in the Southwest (Los Angeles: Westernlore Press, 1966), pp 141-44; #740; R E Twitchell, ed., Spanish Archives of New Mexico, vol 2 (Cedar Rapids, 1914), p 263; Hafen and Hafen, Spanish Trail, pp 262-64 Even James Calhoun, who signed Leon's license, had been attempting to control the slave trade, calling it "exceedingly pernicious" and "the greatest curse" upon the Indians of the territory, recommending the extension of the Trade and Intercourse Act be applied there and issuing his own regulations in the meantime forbidding the trade See James Calhoun to Orlando Brown, November 2, 1849, New Mexico Indian Superintendency, as quoted in Bailey, Indian Slave Trade, pp 100-101

Fhe Frial of Don Pedro Feon 177
Prosecutor Seth M. Blair.

for the Indian captives, petitioned the court to free them. Although a law passed earlier had already established the proprietary and ownership rights of black slave owners, the legal status of Indian slaves in Utah had yet to be determined.39

Judge Snow would make this determination in the aftermath of the Leon trial, concluding that Utah had never passed an act allowing Indian slavery and did not recognize Indian "tradition" as binding upon territorial law; therefore, the Indian captives were ordere d released.

However, since the children were essentially orphans, with parents unknown, they were "placed" in Mormon homes to be fostered— and indentured—as was customary whenever Indian children were acquired.40 An irate Leon would claim that after confiscating the Indian children from him, they had been "sold to the Mormons as servants, by the Mormon Authorities."41 From Leon's perspective the "Mormon Authorities" had done precisely what he had been tried and convicted of trying to do—taking Indian children to be sold into informal indentures and raised in homes as acculturated menials.

With Snow's decision a precedent had been set. Within a month the Utah Territorial Legislature would pass an act making Indian slavery specifically illegal, but setting out the procedure for purchasing Indian children as indentured servants, the indenture to last not longer than twenty years 42—ironically, an indenture longer than was traditionally prescribed for Indians purchased in New Mexico.43

In determining the legality of Mexicans trading without license in the territory, the court necessarily called into question the legality of Mormon settlements and their own trade and missionary work

39 Territory of Utah, "Act in Relation to Service,"Acts, Resolutions, and Memorials, Passed at the Several Sessions of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah (Salt Lake City, 1855), p. 160.

40 Utes had been selling children to Mormons since 1847; the children were acquired as the result of military skirmishes when parents were killed Indian children were also distributed to be raised in Mormon homes.

41 Greiner to Lea

42 Territory of Utah, "An Act for the Relief of Indian Slaves and Prisoners," Acts, Resolutions, and Memorials, Passed at the Several Sessions of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah (Salt Lake City, 1855), chap 24 The act was passed January 31, 1852, and approved March 7, 1852 Shortly thereafter, legislation would also be passed defining the care of legally owned black slaves—making Utah the only "slave territory" in the West, since New Mexico would ban all slavery as part of its political posturing against neighboring slave state Texas

43 Traditionally, Indian captives were not "sold" but "ransomed" in New Mexico; the cost of their ransoming to be worked off like an indenture—though without the formal legislative definitions of such—theoretically to be ended at adulthood (about age fifteen to sixteen) or marriage. The market for captive labor was large—most families who could afford it owned a slave The demand was met through Indian trade and Mexican slave raids on "hostile" tribes The church sanctioned such indentures in the name of heathen conversion However, the system of "indenturing" in New Mexico could be, and often was, abused Nevertheless, three of its chief features were church sanction in the name of religious indoctrination, limited indentures, and the extensive fostering of Indian children.

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among the Indians in "Indian Country" as well—for none of them had trade licenses either ButJudge Snow determined that when Congress had extended all U. S. laws regulating trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes {not country) over Utah and New Mexico on February 27, 1851, the word tribe was understood to mean the people themselves. Thus, constitutional intention gave the territory the right to regulate trade between whites and Indians, whether or not they resided in an exclusively Indian "country."

Thus Pedro Leon—and all other New Mexican traders—faced arrest, confiscation of property, and summary expulsion for trading with the Indians, while at the same time Mormon settlements were legally expanding and having commercial "trade and intercourse" with the Indians not only for food, stock, or clothing but also for Indian children as well—all without a license and without fear of arrest or seizure of goods Ironically, a few years later non-Mormon Indian agents would point to Mormon trade and missionary work among the Indians as being carried on without a license within "Indian Country" and use it as a means of attacking the Mormons and trying to sever their relations with the Indians.44

Over the next few weeks Pedro Leon continued his appeals for a new trial and a reexamination of evidence. The first appeal sought to reverse the verdict and set a new trial based on irregularities in the arrest and seizure procedures.45 When this was not successful, Smith and Slayton filed petitions to recover their clients' confiscated riding horses and pack mules on the basis that property liable to seizure by the 1834 act did not include riding and pack animals within its definition of "merchandise." However, the court found that since horses and mules were the usual merchandise brought to trade (and for which the Indians had traded), these animals did fall within the definitions of "merchandise" and were liable to forfeiture (despite these particular animals being the New Mexicans' only means of transportation home.) 4 6

Leon also filed a petition for retrial, claiming a prejudicial jury.47 This was a valid claim. Dan Jones remarked on the intensity of the feelings prevalent against the Mexicans before and during the trial, writing that "a great deal of prejudice and bitter feeling was manifested

44 For example, Garland Hur t wrote on May 2, 1855, that he "recommended Acts to regulate Trade and Intercourse be rigidly enforced, because Saints have perpetuated a distinction between Mormons and Americans prejudicial to U.S. citizens," giving the Gunnison Massacre as an example. (The Indians did maintain a difference between the two white, warring, tribes of Mericats and Mormonees.)

45 Appeals filed, January 14, 1852, U.S. v. Pedro Leon, et al, pp. 317-22, and Court "Information."

46 Court "Information."

47 Application for new trial, Januar y 9, 1852, U.S. v Pedro Leon, et al, pp 292-93

Fhe Frial of Don Pedro Feon 179

toward the Mexicans." Indeed, in the mid-nineteenth century Americans typically looked down on Mexicans. Brigham Young declared Mexicans to be "little better than the Indians," while another contemporary described them as "swarthy" and "ignoble" and with "brutish faces."48 Americans had only recently fought a major war against the Mexicans—including a battalion of Mormons who had marched through New Mexico before returning to Utah

In mid-November the Deseret News Weekly had printed an editorial in which it called Leon a liar, a traitor, and a kidnapper. The editorial accused him of lying about having a license signed by Governor Calhoun, claimed he was traitorous for supplying weapons to warring Navajos through their Ute liaisons, and contended that he was a kidnapper for attempting to carry Indian children away from Utah.49 If the newspaper had had its way, Leon and company would have been fined, jailed, and then hanged!

The most damning complaint about the trial, however, was that at least one of the jurors had already declared the defendants guilty nearly a week before the trial began.James Ferguson filed a deposition stating that about a week before the trial, he had heard George D. Grant, ajuror, at the home of Seth M. Blair, the prosecutor, declare that Pedro Leon and others of the Spanish company were guilty and ought to be punished. The possession of the Indian children was "sufficient evidence" of their having traded with the Indians.50 The court gave this complaint no serious consideration.

On January 9, Slayton filed one of the most interesting petitions in the record. He asked for a retrial on the basis of having just discovered material evidence unknown to him during the first trial. Around December 1—a month after Young had denied Leon a license to trade and nearly two weeks after Leon had sent his main company back to Santa Fe—Pedro Leon "did Procure a License of Stephen B Rose an Indian Agent for said Territory authorizing and Permitting said Leon to Trade and Traffic with the Indian Tribes

."51 Since Rose was the complainant and "arresting" officer, it is dif-

48 Brigham Young, Legislative Address published January 10, 1852, Deseret News; Frances Parkman, The Oregon Trail (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1927), p 60

49 Jones, Forty Years, p 52; Deseret News Weekly, November 15, 1851

30 Deposition of James Ferguson, January 9, 1852, U. S. v Pedro Leon et al, pp 292-93 It would be interesting to see how Grant justified the "possession" of Indian children by men such as George A Smith who had also recently traded with the Utes without a license in an almost identical situation in which an Indian child was bartered for a stolen and butchered animal

51 Application for new trial and deposition of Joshua Slayton, January 9, 1851, U.S. v Pedro Leon et al, pp 294-95

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ficult to imagine how or why he would have thought to issue a license to trade to a man whom he knew from personal knowledge had been denied such a license by his superior. Did Leon actually have such a license? Some type of document must have existed since Slayton was willing to offer it as evidence. Was the "license" a document allowing the Mexicans to pursue and recover their stolen stock or recompense for it? Unfortunately, the court refused the petition, and the mysterious document, having never been made a part of the record, has been lost

Nevertheless, the implication that such a document did exist raises a number of intriguing questions. Why would Leon ask for a license when he was ostensibly preparing to go home? Why would Rose even think to give him such a license when Brigham Young had already refused to do so? Could there have been collusion between Leon and Rose, which Rose would deny when he was called upon to investigate the charges of Leon trading without a license? Who prepared the document for Leon since he was illiterate? If he were planning to go home without trading, why would he have tried to obtain a license behind Young's back? Would Slayton have filed a petition if he had not personally seen the purported license? Notwithstanding, the petition was ignored, and Leon was not granted a retrial Leon's final attempt in the Mormon-dominated courts would be an attempt to sue the Mormons for his lost property and false imprisonment, but Brigham Young simply referred him to Washington At last, after having exhausted all legal resorts, the New Mexicans "paid" their fine. The court records indicate Leon was fined the mandatory $500, "which was at once remitted" through the confiscation of their property.52

Brigham Young—who was described as "treating the whole party with the greatest kindness, while they were in the Country" and as having tried to use his influence to provide a "fair and impartial trial"— provided provisions sufficient for the Mexicans' return home.53 The provisions did not, however, include transportation as their stock had been confiscated by the court Leon and his companions were forced to return to Santa Fe on foot, through the mountains, in mid-winter. They left February 6 and arrived in Abiquiu on April 4, having "suffered a great deal from being caught in the snows in the Mountains—

Fhe Frial of Don Pedro Feon 181
52 It is not clear whether each trader was also fined $500 Leon reported to Greiner that each trader was fined only $50—an error in transcription? 53 Greiner to Lea; Jones, Forty Years, p 52

sometimes being compelled to wade in the snow to their armpits."

54 Within several weeks Leon had collected depositions, complained to New Mexican authorities, and sent letters of complaint to Washington,55 but the disgruntled traders found little satisfaction there, either. Don Pedro's financial losses from this expedition must have been substantial; although we do not know if he lost his $1,000 bond (probably not, the New Mexico officials were sympathetic). He did lose all of his trade goods and merchandise—at the least, that year's profit. Most telling is that when next we find Leon, he is listed as a "peon" traveling with—not leading—a New Mexican trade expedition into central Utah.

It was this new caravan that would instigate trouble between the Indians and the Mormon settlements. The spring of 1853 brought a large company of New Mexican traders to the Sanpete Valley, determined to revive the slave trade with the Indians.

A truculent Dr. C. A. W. Bowman led the traders and peon auxiliaries. A former native of New York, Bowman had lived in New Mexico for some years and was then residing in Leon's home village of Abiquiu. Mormon records all agree that the trading party, and Bowman in particular, was especially and actively belligerent. They made no secret of their presence and indeed sought out Utah officials to whom they made open threats of forcibly resisting the edicts against the Mexican trade. Bowman cursed one interpreter for "being a Mormon" and boasted that he had "power at his back to use all the Mormons up."

Despite warnings to be "more careful," the buckskin-clad Bowman traveled to Utah Valley where at Provo he "accosted" Brigham Young "in a very abrupt manner" and acted "in an insulting and threatening manner." Boasting that he had four hundre d Mexicans on the Sevier River awaiting his orders (he did not), Bowman told Young that the traders "feared nothing for law, and would not be restrained from any pursuit which they chose to follow."56

54 Greiner to Lea

55 Head, "Statement." Lafayette Head, then in Abiquiu, would later serve as Ute Indian agent in Conejos, become a resident of the predominantly Hispanic San Luis Valley in Ute territory, marr y into the New Mexican culture, an d be a "foster" parent of several Indian children U.S Census, 1870, Conejos County, Colorado Territory, p 166, family 260 (microfilm FHL #545,593) See also Greiner to Lea

56 No large group of Mexicans was ever seen, although a ban d of 150 Yampa Utes from norther n Colorado that had joine d Wakara's camp shortly thereafter sent peace overtures to Young Deseret News, December 15, 1853; Journa l History of the Church, April 23, 1853 (JH hereinafter); Deseret News, April 30; 1853; Brigham Young, May 2, 1853, J H (quoting from BYMH, 1853-1862); Jones , Forty Years, pp 54-55; Orson F Whitney, History of Utah, vol I (Salt Lake City: George Q Cannon and Sons, 1892-1904), pp 510-12

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Young's response was quick and decisive. After refusing to speak to Bowman, he issued a proclamation declaring that "there is in this territory, a horde of Mexicans, and outlandish men who are infesting the settlements, stirring up the Indians with guns, ammunition, etc., contrary to the laws of this territory" and ordered a thirty-man detachment of the militia to head south to reconnoiter, warn the settlers to be "on guard" against Mexicans or Indians, and "arrest, and keep in close custody, every strolling Mexican party; and those associating with them, and other suspicious persons or parties, that they may encounter and leave them safely guarded" in local settlements All Mexicans in the territory were to "remain quiet in the settlements and not to attempt to leave under any consideration, until further advised."57

Young's fear that the Mexicans might stir up the Indians proved justified. In December he noted that the Indians who had visited the settlements in the spring and summer of 1853 "manifested a turbulent spirit; and although evidently aiming to conceal it, plainly showed that they had been tampered with, and that their feelings were very different than upon former visits."Wakara was described as "surly in his feelings and expressions" and reportedly he had "repeatedly endeavored to raise an excitement and open war out of small pretexts."58

The new Indian agitation was attributed directly to Bowman's Mexican traders. They had hoped to incite the Indians to support them against the Mormon interlopers by telling the Utes that the settlers had not paid them sufficiently for the lands they were usurping and that the Indians had the right to take Mormon cattle as recompense. 59 Since such an action was certain to lead to reprisals and open warfare; the traders stood to gain if Indian hostilities drove the Mormons from the land.60 —-

Bowman's threats came to nothing, however, and the militia met no resistance. Some Mexicans were harassed, and a few werejailed in

57 The Mormons were, however, advised to treat them "with kindness, and [supply] their necessary wants." See "Proclamation by the Governor," April 23, 1853, J H (quoting from Deseret News, April 30, 1853)

58 DeseretNews, December 15, 1853; and December 13, 1853, JH

59 May 2, 1853, J H (quoting from BYMH); Deseret News, December 15, 1853

60 Mormons also suspected that mountain men like Jim Bridger had added to the problem with similar arguments against the Utah settlers since 1850 The Mormons were encroaching on or impeding the commercial ventures of both groups as they absorbed the Oregon / California Trail business to which many mountain men had turned (trading posts and ferries) and the Mexican trade in Indian slaves along the Old Spanish Trail Both groups stood to gain if Indian hostilities drove the Mormons out However, in 1853 the Mormons moved to solve the problem of outside intervention in Indian affairs by buying out the old traders at Fort Bridger and driving out the Mexican traders See for example Whitney, History of Utah, 1:515, and BYMH, May 13, 1849, pp 76, 77

Fhe Frial of Don Pedro Feon 183

southern settlements. The latter complained that they had been "badly treated by the Mormons" who were "threaten [ing] to shoot or imprison all Americans passing through their country," but their bluster was recognized for what it was, frustration at being thwarted in their Indian slave trade.61 Bowman's traders were placed in informal custody by Utah officials, but after Bowman was killed by Indians who suspected he had cheated them, they were released and left the territory without incident.62

Young's direct action successfully drove the traders out of Utah— and underground for a while—but heightened Indian hostility. Wakara's attitude was that he did not care to whom he sold his human merchandise and that Mormons would suffice as well as Mexicans, as long as they were willing to trade him the guns and ammunition he needed.63 But Utah officials had declared that no arms were to be further traded to Indians.

Thus, while the trade in Indian children continued to limp along for a while—underground to gentiles and legally with Mormons—the Utah laws on Indian slavery and Mexican trade placed a stranglehold on an old and profitable way of life for the Utes Their hostility would erupt in the spring of 1853 in what has been called the Walker War,64 a "war" that most Utah historians recognize as having been caused as much by anger over the now-defunct Spanish-Indian slave trade as by encroaching white settlements or friction between cultures.65

In New Mexico the effect of the Mormons' curtailing the slave trade was to increase slave raids on Navajo settlements to replace the lost Yuta captives, exacerbating an already hostile situation. As animosities escalated, both Ute Indian and white raiders took advantage of the ongoing war to continue to supply expanding markets with Navajo captives These increased slave raids were one of many factors in the spiraling aggression of the Navajo wars that ultimately resulted

61 Gwinn Harris Heap, Central Route to the Pacific (Philadelphia, 1854), pp 79-80

62 Jones, Forty Years, pp 55-56 Because of the earlier disagreements with Mormon officials rumors persisted that he had been murdered by the Mormons and the Indians blamed

63 May 11, 1853, JH, quoting from Capt Walls Report published May 28, 1853, in the Deseret News. Although the Mormons considered this desire for guns and ammunition to be strictly military, "to enable him to continue his robberies," no one seemed to grasp the concept that the Indians needed the weapons for hunting and survival as well

64 So called because it was carried on by members of Wakara's (Walker's) war bands; during much of the "war" Wakara was absent in Arizona among the Navajos See an in-depth discussion in Howard A Christy, "The Walker War: Defense and Conciliation as Strategy," Utah Historical Quarterly 47 (1979): 216-35

65 For example, B H Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church ofJesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, vol 4 (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1930), pp 36-40;'Bailey, Indian Slave Trade, pp 163-64; Milton R. Hunter, Utah in Her Western Setting (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1943), pp. 305-6.

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in American military intervention that crushed Navajo resistance once and for all.66

There is some justice in Leon's complaint that Brigham Young denied him a license to trade because he was not a Mormon.67 Leon and company were tried for trading with the Indians for Indian children, a practice in which the Mormon populace was actively engaged and which their governor and church president had only recently advised them to do "as quickly as possible."68 Yet the court found Mormon commerce in Indian children to be legal while the Mexican trade was not. The only difference Leon could perceive was racial and religious: he was a Catholic Mexican, not a Mormon Utahn. He was probably right.

What Leon could not have seen or understood, particularly given the New Mexican history of ignoring the Indian problems caused by slaving practices, was that the political difficulties caused by Indian slavery had to be stopped. That could only be done by stopping Mexican trade expeditions like his from coming to Utah. Although the purchase and raising of Indian captives among Mormons and Mexicans were actually very similar in practice, the real difference lay in its extent and the pernicious effects of the traditional Mexican trade in maintaining the Indian hostilities.69 The New Mexicans who utilized Indian menials in large numbers were willing to put up with occasional Indian raids as the price for having Indian tribes available from which to "harvest" servants. The Utahns did not have the luxury of, or desire to, accept Indian hostilities. Their communities were thinly spread out and vulnerable. They accepted voluntary placement of Indian children as frequently as possible for acculturation purposes, but having a peaceful setting conducive to both Indian missionary and settlement efforts was uppermost in their thoughts.

Pedro Leon, and all other Mexican traders of his ilk, endangered that peaceful settlement process They stirred up hostilities between tribes and provided arms, ammunition, and horses that helped to perpetuate conflict. Most important, they created the market that kept alive the slave trade and its viciously cruel Indian slave raids. The Mormons saw themselves not as creating a market for slaves but as

m See Brugge, "Navajos in Catholic Church Records, 1694-1875," p 35

67 Greiner to Lea, Official Correspondence.

68 Brigham Young, May 13, 1851, BYMH, p 846, as quoted in Juanita Brooks, "Indian Relations on the Mormon Frontier," Utah Historical Quarterly 12 (1944): 6

69 Mormons also differed in that they never carried out their own raids to obtain their Indian menials as Mexicans frequently did

Fhe Frial ofDon Pedro Feon 185

absorbing and emancipating the captives already taken, or, providing homes for Indian children whose families were too destitute to provide for them.

Still, the bottom line of the court proceeding was the legality of trading with Indians, particularly for their captive children. Despite the inherent hypocrisy of convicting the Mexican traders of a "crime" that the Mormon population was blatantly and actively participating in, the court action gave Utah officials the precedent upon which they could base future regulatory andjudicial action aimed at stopping the trade. Outsider—New Mexican—trade with Indians was forbidden, while local, Utah trade was allowed. Indians could not be enslaved, but Indian children could be purchased for a sometimes slave-like indenture from which they could be emancipated upon reaching their majority.

By managing the meaning of the very carefully chosen terms to be used, the Utahns were successfully able to manipulate the political necessities of Indian trade and slavery into an acceptable form of bonded servitude, while precluding the outside trade they felt endangered their own enclaves.

186 Utah Historical Quarterly

As a historian of Utah statehood, this reviewer several years ago considered ways to bring the fascinating story to the general public during the centennial celebration of that event, then did nothing to accomplish that end Fortunately, others—television documentary producer Ken Verdoia and historian Richard Firmage—teamed up to accomplish this task in an exceptionally effective manner Intended as a companion volume to the television documentary special of the same name, this heavily illustrated history of the last half of the nineteenth century, as stated by the authors, has taken on a life of its own With its own immensely valuable illustrations, it certainly serves well as a reminder of the excellent video presentation and stands separately as a good survey of the statehood movements.

The text isa lucid sketch mainly, but not entirely, of the essentials of political history of the last half of the nineteenth century. Its primary focus is on urban northern Utah, which is legitimate since that was the focal point of the movements for statehood. One of the most insightful segments is a brief description of city life in Utah Territory. There is no sugar-coated treatment in this book. Although the Mormons did sometimes feed Indians instead of fight them, they also killed a considerable number of Native Americans And the ugly Morrisite killings are treated, indicating a real tyranny for some in the territory at the

time The authors offer a discussion of the Bear River Massacre, which the video covered particularly well with a dramatized reenactment of the tragedy There is no overemphasis here of seagulls saving crops, with the authors stressing that contemporary diaries did not make much of the situation— perhaps news to a few readers.

While intentionally brief, there are occasional significant new contributions to Utah historical scholarship. After mentioning President Zachary Taylor's attempt to join Mormon Deseret to southern California as one huge state, the authors reflect original research in pointing to a letter to President Taylor from William Smith, brother of the founding Mormon prophet, critical of Brigham Young and his regime. This was likely instrumental in the alienation of the president from church interests Another seldomstressed but important subject is the background to a court case involving Salt Lake City saloon owner Paul Englebrecht, whose establishment was raided and damaged at the behest of Mormon city police chief Andrew Burt This case eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court with the decision and the bitterness it engendered contributing meaningfully to later antiMormon legislation and law enforcement

Certainly the highlight of the book is the number of visual images and informative captions assembled amid a careful narrative. Naturally, relevant

Utah: The Strugglefor Statehood. By KEN VERDOIA AND RICHARD FIRMAGE (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1996 205 pp $34.95.)

photographs on the earlier years are more rare when photography was in its infancy. Verdoia and Firmage have performed a great service in reaching into obscure sources to gather artists' sketches of pioneer journeys, landscapes, and infant settlements, often bringing to view seldom-seen and important pictures. On the other hand, nine photographs of Brigham Young plus his residences, when he was alive during only half the period covered, might be a little excessive But then the Great Colonizer had more time and funds to sit for photographers than did the people he sent out to do the real pioneering When possible, aswith the well-photographed completion of the first transcontinental railroad, the authors have selected different views than we have usually seen and thereby further enhanced interest

Although the book reflects the great value of the photographic collections in Utah and the nation's capital, it also reveals an inherent problem Not only are we largely limited to the subjects about which images have been col-

lected and saved, but also the information describing the picture can hardly be expected to be more accurate than the background material accompanying it in the photo or sketch repository Thus one caption mentions a plural wife of Charles C Rich who is actually his first wife The Clear Lake School, said to have been built in 1890, in other frontal images shows a clear construction date of 1900 Many would take issue with the caption of the photo of thejoint Salt Lake City and County Building, supposedly only three years old, showing landscaping trees well on their way to maturity. But this is nitpicking and in no way detracts from a great, brief, but richly illustrated layman's history of the struggle for statehood The volume will find a place on the coffee tables of many homes and will be far more widely appreciated than have been most books on the history of Utah.


Necessary Fraud: Progressive Reform and Utah Coal. By NANCY J TANIGUCHI (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996. xvi + 319 pp. $39.95.)

Necessary Fraud: Progressive Reform and Utah Coal is a very significant book for several reasons. It examines in detail a pivotal story in Utah's history, the development of coal mining, and it carefully pursues the story into the twentieth century, a period often ignored by mining historians. "Sagebrush" western protestors today will be interested to see what their ancestors had to put up with a few generations ago.

The author, Nancy J Taniguchi, associate professor of history at California State University, Stanislaus, is to be congratulated for her dedicated field work and archival research

(using a variety of sources) in developing a most complicated story in a professional, objective manner This was not an easy topic to research, but she traces her subject in a fashion worthy of Sherlock Holmes.

Necessary Fraud is a bittersweet story at best, tracing the development of Utah coal by individuals, corporations, and the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad It is also the story of the federal government's role in encouraging mining and then trying to regulate the results of unplanned consequences As Taniguchi writes, "This story of fraud in the Utah coal lands provides a case study of the intricacies of American

188 Utah Historical Quarterly
EDWARD LE O LYMAN Victorville,

land law, specifically, of the Coal Land Act of 1873 and its application (and misapplications)" (p. xii).

The necessary fraud developed because of the limitations of the 1873 Coal Land Act, which only allowed filing on 160 acres for an individual or 640 acres for an association. This proved far too few acres to open and operate a coal mine profitably here and elsewhere in the West Thus, land fraud allowed mining to start Taniguchi follows the story into Colorado and Wyoming as well but stays focused in Utah throughout. Although tortuous and tedious, the government's litigation finally paid dividends: "And, as a result of suits lasting into the 1930s, land 'theft' ultimately ceased, thanks in large part to the litigation that [Marsden] Burch and others so doggedly pursued" (p 252)

This is not a pleasant story It involves corporations, individuals, the LDS church, state, local, and national governments, and honesty and dishon-

esty. The book needs and deserves close reading. It is a complicated subject that tells readers much about the Utah coal mining and attitudes of a century or less ago. The reader might want to develop her or his own score sheet to follow individuals, mines, companies, and litigation

Nancy Taniguchi deserves thanks for having tackled a difficult subject and turned it into a readable story This isnot a book for an easy evening's reading by the fire; it will take concentration and thought, but the result will be worth the effort. The short chapters are a plus, allowing a one-sitting reading to follow the story line. Her photograph selection adds to the story. However, a few more maps or better placed maps might have helped. This is not a glamorous West, but it is reality

If ever you are pressed and have time for but one book from which to get the heft and breadth of Wallace Stegner, you may want to pull this one by Rankin It should certainly be among the first of the books on Stegner to open. I know that it is going on my shelf right next to another vital study of Stegner. That is the booklength interview of Stegner conducted in 1983 by Richard W Etulain (Conversations with Wallace Stegner on Western History and Literature) who, fittingly enough, has also contributed an essay to Rankin's collection.

Altogether, there are seventeen essays, three of which are by the very well established writers Wendell Berry, William Kittredge, and Ivan Doig, each

of whom was able to speak from a personal acquaintance with Stegner There is also a memoir by Page Stegner, Wallace Stegner's son. And the foreword was written by Stewart Udall, a former secretary of the Interior who welcomed the wisdom Stegner once brought to Washington

And, then, the rest of the list of contributors is something of a showcase of academic talent Their names read like a Who's Who in the professional associations of western American literature and history Indeed, they constitute, if you will forgive a bit of popular idiom, a Stegner "dream team," and my guess is that we have here about as competent a crew of Stegner scholars as is likely ever to come together

Book Reviews and Notices 189
DUANE A SMITH Fort Lewis College Durango, Colorado Wallace Stegner: Man and Writer. Edited by CHARLES E RANKIN (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996.xvi +280 pp. Cloth, $45.00; paper, $19.95.)

Now, they do wax a little laudatory. But they are talking about Wallace Stegner, after all, and may be forgiven the enthusiasm we should all feel And two or three of them will discover pretty nearly the same thing, as, for instance, Stegner's unusual ability to use historical outlines as the bases for his fictions But such occasional bits of overlap are often the case with a tightly focused festschriften. It should bejust as interesting to see where and how the fine minds have agreed with one another as where they have differed.

Perhaps the one sour note in the whole is a slight leakage of a peculiar feminist sentiment—this from a man Rob Williams was quite insistent in asking "if every woman on the Plains conformed to the gendered patterns of behavior laid out in Stegner's historical work" (p. 133).

The reference is to Stegner's Wolf Willow, and those familiar with it should think Williams's question is sadly beside the point. Stegner's boyhood along the "High Line" had shown

him one of the narrowest slices of life in American/Canadian culture. He wrote to admit that limitation In a sense, he wrote to defeat the limitation. And that Williams would worry the issue with a kind of reflexive feminism shows nothing so much as his own anxiety that he come across as righteously progressive in his politics My view is that Williams could just as well have kept his eye on his subject.

No such distractions troubled the three women who contributed: Ann Ronald, Patricia Nelson Limerick, and Melody Graulich Their essays do not demand any sort of a gender identification but were among the most balanced and the strongest parts of the collection

You will arrive at the end of Wallace Stegner: Man and Writer very well rewarded The book accomplishes something of a feat, that is—the essential Stegner

Encyclopedia of the American West. Edited by CHARLES PHILLIPS and ALAN AXELROD. 4 vols. (New York: Simon and Schuster Macmillan, 1996. lxxviii + 1,935 pp. $375.00.)

For nearly twenty years Howard LaMar's one-volume Readers Encyclopedia of the American West\\?iS sat on the bookshelf closest to my desk as a handy reference source for frequent questions about Utah and western American history While Iwill continue to consult that volume, the new fourvolume, comprehensive and up-to-date Encyclopedia of the American WestwAl now get regular use.

Turn to the front and end pages in each volume and it is clear what the editors define as the American West. The full-spread map of the United States identifies the twenty-two states west of the Mississippi River by name

and includes inserts of Hawaii and Alaska. The states east of the Mississippi are outlined but not identified The chronological framework stretches from the early Spanish period to the mid-twentieth century However, as the editors note, "these geographical and chronological boundaries are crossed freely as adequate coverage of any given topic may demand" (p xi)

Encyclopedia of the American West is another of the fine reference works produced by Macmillan Reference It is the same company that gave us the four-volume Encyclopedia of Mormonism in 1992 The encyclopedia includes 1,700 articles that begin with Edward

190 Utah Historical Quarterly

Abbey and end with artist and illustrator Rufus Fairchild Zogbaum As with most encyclopedias, biographical entries make up the majority of items included. A useful section following the last entry in volume 4 is a listing of "Biographical Entries by Profession." The fifty professions include everything from actors, entertainers, religious leaders, Native American leaders, and social reformers to gunfighters, prostitutes, historians, writers, fur trappers, outlaws, and politicians—the latter category having the most entries. Biographies of contemporary individuals are not included; neither are living persons mentioned except in the context of the histories of certain cities and states.

In addition to the biographical entries, you will find articles on each of the states, major cities, organizations and institutions, ethnic groups, trails, events, and overview entries on such topics as agriculture, architecture, art, child rearing, disease, exploration, farming, the federal government, film, the frontier, the fur trade, homesteading, Indian schools, the labor movement, land policy, literature, mining, national expansion, Native American cultures and peoples, pioneer life, the U.S Army, U.S Indian policy, violence, wildlife, and wild west shows. Volume one contains both a list of entries and a list of contributors; the latter includes the entries written under the name of each author

Among the nearly four hundred authors of the entries are at least three dozen with Utah connections. Thomas Alexander, Jim Allen, Leonard Arrington, Maureen Beecher, Newell Bringhurst, George Ellsworth, Craig Foster, Fred Gowans, Charles Hibbard, Richard Jensen, Stan Kimball, Stan Layton, Leo Lyman, Carol Madsen, Dean May, Charles Peterson, Ross Peterson, Harold Schindler, Jan Shipps, Sandra Taylor, Gary Topping,

and Ronald Walker will be familiar to most readers of Utah Historical Quarterly.

One of the great strengths of the Encyclopedia is the magnificent presentation and excellent writing. The 8 x 11-inch pages are bound in a very attractive red cover highlighted with blue and gold stamp lettering The use of a fairly large and readable type, the generous use of the more than 1,000 photographs and 42 maps, the comprehensive index, the references within the text to appropriate articles for items and subjects, and the list of suggested reading at the end of each article make this a pleasant and effective work to use. The readability of the entries makes it easy to pass an hour or two in your favorite chair perusing and browsing with great pleasure.

The Encyclopedia was produced with remarkable speed The four years from the first meeting of the seven-member board of editors in 1992 until publication in the fall of 1996 required a herculean effort to identify topics and authors, research and write the entries, and complete the editing and production.

Although one could quibble with the choice of some entries, certain inconsistences in coverage, the omission of an important bibliographical citation or two for some articles, the need for another map here or there, and the length of one article compared with another, there is little substantive criticism to focus on this work. However, one regret is the missed opportunity to expand participation beyond the nearly 400 writers that are included About 500 of the 1,700 entries were written by the two editors and two assistants. It is easy to understand why the editors took up the burden of writing so many entries. Time, money, frustration with individuals who did not meet their commitments, and the extra work required in identifying other writers are all part of the expla-

Book Reviews and Notices 191

nation Still, perhaps a little more effort given to the search for other contributors would have produced articles of equal or even better quality and given more western scholars an oppor-

tunity to share in this commendable and monumental project.

Uncommon Common Women: Ordinary Lives of the West. By ANNE M. BUTLER and ONA SIPORIN (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1996 x + 138 pp Paper, $21.95.)

The complicated lives of contemporary American women, made at once more difficult and easier through modern technology, seem distant and remote from the ordinary lives of the women who inhabited the American West during the last half of the nineteenth century The women of this earlier period could hardly have envisioned the fast-paced, push-button, electronically governed lifestyles that would introduce the twenty-first century Conversely, for modern women to understand the lives of women of the American West is equally difficult. Yet the existence of these earlier women has become the warp through which our current lives are woven, and it is through them, though often nameless, faceless, and unknown, that our heritage has evolved; through their stories we can see that the challenges they faced are close and immediate to our own

Uncommon Common Women by Anne Butler and Ona Siporin is a slim, easyto-read volume that links bonds of womanhood across generations Divided into seven chapters, each discussing a different aspect of the lives of women during the western immigration era, the book reveals much about the struggles of race, class, and gender that strike a familiar chord with women of today. Dispelling stereotypes and the romantic nostalgia that often accompanies Americans' perceptions of frontier women, Uncommon Common Women emphasizes their diversity and humanity "forged from the reality of life's con-

stant and often searing experiences" (p. 7).

A distinctive characteristic of this book lies in its unusual presentation. Co-authored by a conscientious historian and a gifted storyteller, the book is written in a multi-genre format. Anne Butler provides an appropriate, interesting historical background as a setting for Ona Siporin's rich tales of individual women's experiences Founded in fact, fiction, and folklore, these stories bring to life the experience of ten-year-old Rebecca Gowan who was saved from a Crow arrow by Turning Wolf, a member of the Lakota tribe, and who, later as Turning Wolf's wife, lived and raised her own family among the peace-loving Lakotas. They tell of former slave Susanna and her daughter who carried Susanna's son Joshua all the way from Alabama to Nebraska after his legs were broken by a white bully. They tell ofJewish Fruma who left Russia with her children to find an address in Omaha, Nebraska, where she knew her husband would be waiting and of the great courage and wit Fruma used in getting her sick baby past the health inspector as they disembarked in America. The stories tell about how "Manuela had been convicted, with her pimp, of murder It was the pimp who had killed the man—for money—but he had been let off, and Manuela had been incarcerated. A fiftyyear sentence, with seventy-five men as cell mates" (p 99)

Butler's historical contribution to the stories expands the scope of tradi-

192 Utah Historical Quarterly

tional history to include the impact made by ordinary people of all skin colors, all ages, and all situations

Siporin's storytelling is characterized by her beautiful, poetic language: "Perhaps you didn't know her before I told you this; but if you are a woman, you have known her all along. She is the prism of your dream; the light catches her in mid-air, and with a sudden intake of breath, you see the brilliant spectrum of your own colors" (p. 65). Both the historical narrative and the storytelling are enhanced by carefully chosen photographs that accompany the text The picture of Ada Blayney sitting out-of-doors at her treadle sewing machine in a stark landscape with only a small shack to interrupt the endless prairie leaves a haunting message with the reader. The photo ofyoung Genevra Fornell filling a water barrel loaded in a wagon, bucket by bucket, speaks wordlessly of the arduous labor required by those early homesteaders The combination of history, storytelling, and photographs works in concert to give pow-

erful voice to the lives of women in the frontier American West

It is with the mute photos, however, that I offer a small criticism of this work. The authors and editors obviously chose not to accompany each picture with a caption, feeling that the photograph alone left its own profound message; nevertheless, I found myself wanting an explanatory comment to accompany each illustration as it appeared in the text A photo credits appendix included in the book contains only bibliographic information, and I felt unsatisfied by the brevity of these entries. Despite this deficiency, reading Uncommon Common Women was richly rewarding for me. The book offered me new insights into lives of women in the American West, and in doing so it became a tool for increased self-awareness, thus generating bonds of sisterhood between me and my silent predecessors


Change in the American West: Exploring the Human Dimension. Edited by STEPHEN TCHUDI (Reno: Nevada Humanities Committee and the University of Nevada Press, 1996 xii +257 pp Paper, $14.95.)

The humanities that encompass the selections in this collection are not the usual humanities associated with academic disciplines. As they are defined in Stephen Tchudi's "Editor's Note" and inJ. Edward Chamberlin's lead essay, these are more public humanities "grounded in the urgencies of the everyday and the gritty particulars of place" (Chamberlin's phrase). Concerned with the particulars (italics mine) of human life, they can, Chamberlin asserts, enable us to respond to situations and events that are "appallingly incoherent, unstable, and sometimes even insane" with

"intelligence and courage." The humanist works in this volume are intended to offer "just that sort of perspective on the unwieldy but fascinating theme of 'Change in the American West'" (Tchudi's phrase).

Can these humanist writings about unsettling events and processes in the evolving West help westerners cope with them? There is an editorial "yes," but most readers will find it to be a tall claim, one that is not supported by the four poems, the prose poem, the short story, and the thirteen essays that compose this volume.

There is no need, however, to

Book Reviews and Notices 193

expect them to do more than they are capable of doing Fortunately for this brief anthology, what they can do, without editorial inflation, is offer writing about changes in our West that is informative, readable, and often thoughtprovoking

Though all works adhere to the theme of change in the West, their forms are remarkably diverse: essays, poetry, fiction, even a panel discussion. Yet each form seems right for its subject. For example, the wild beauty of Utah's imperiled southern desert is captured more evocatively by T H Watkins's combination of photography and poetic prose than it could be through photos, poetry, or prose alone

Subjects are as disparate as forms These three will give some idea of how varied the menu is: the way in which rhetoric and language have literally changed the flow of water into Nevada's Walker Lake; what eco-warrior assaults on the Glen Canyon Dam in the fiction of Edward Abbey and Leslie Silko reveal about strategies for environmental defense; and the impact that the transcontinental railroad had on the insularities of the early Salt Lake Theatre.

Throughout the selections in this volume are passages memorable as much for their style as their content. For example, T H Watkins's prediction for the future of "wildness" in

Utah: "the Beehive State, like the rest of the West, [is becoming] more of what it has always been in human terms, an urban place where the engines of extraction desecrate the land even while industrial tourism celebrates it to death" (p. 182). Or the fine irony at the end of Bill Cowee's poem, "On the Demolition of the Virginia and Truckee Engine Shops" (p. 45):

Old builders / giveway to developers whose children are already / born and placing one glorious block atop another.

Change in the American West is the first book in a series that will be drawn from Halcyon: A Journal of the Humanities and published by the Nevada Humanities Committee and the University of Nevada Press. Future volumes will deal with themes "central to our existence in the West." One hopes that their second will contain selections as rewarding as those in the first. One also hopes that the intent of their next venture will be more realistic than to offer intellectual and emotional renewal for all westerners who have been frazzled by change. To give us more fresh thinking about the American West, like that in the first volume, would be enough

Navajo and Photography: A Critical History of the Representation of an American People. By JAMES C. FARIS. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996. xvi + 392 pp. $39.95.)

Ever since the imprisonment of the Navajo people at Fort Sumner in the 1860s, they have been the subject of countless artists and photographers. Most of these have been EuroAmericans, who naturally portrayed the Navajo on their own terms, often with insensitive or even offensive results.

This volume on the history of Navajo photography is based on a single premise that all attempts to depict the Navajo people by non-native photographers fail to accurately show the lived experiences of the Navajo. This premise iscertainly valid, since no artist, native or otherwise, can ever

194 Utah Historical Quarterly

completely represent any group of people with his art Most historians intuitively understand the concept that the historical validity of photographs is limited by many factors, including time, place, subject, and the cultural bias of the photographer. As the basis for ajournal article, this concept has definite value. As the subject for an entire book, however, it becomes pretentious and tedious.

Although the attractive dust jacket and photographs might entice some to buy this book in the hope of learning more about the early history of the Navajo, such a buyer would soon be disappointed In the first two chapters the reader issubjected to a lengthy diatribe that denounces outsiders' views regarding photography among native peoples This iswritten in semiological jargon that is nearly unintelligible to the average reader. A sample sentence reads: "The West had long privileged scopic enterprises and visual modalities, and by the mid-nineteenth century an observational visualist hegemony became a persistent focus of modernism in social, scientific, and aesthetic endeavors." Whew!

In chapters three through seven the author gets down to the business of criticizing the work of nearly every photographer of note who has operated in Navajoland, both living and dead Edward S Curtis is slammed for his "posed" and "excessively romantic" photographs, while Monson, Moon, and other photographers are denounced for taking candid photos without permission. Later photographers, such as Laura Gilpin, are taken to task for photographing scenes of interest to their Euro-American audience rather than to the Navajo themselves. All of the photographers are condemned for portraying the Navajo according to non-native ideals and

standards, rather than their own. This being said, the author never actually stateswhat these standards ought to be, or how such documentation of the Navajo lifestyle should be accomplished, strongly implying instead that all non-native photographers should simply leave the Navajo alone Clearly it is much easier to be a photo critic than a photographic creator In addition, Faris consistently portrays the artist/subject encounter as a power struggle, with the dominant EuroAmerican photographers forcing their photographic will upon the conquered Navajo, powerless to protect themselves against the invasion of their privacy by the camera-toting pillagers

The photographs, too, have clearly been chosen with a political agenda in mind Of the tens of thousands of magnificent pictures of the Navajo people, the author has selected those that show Navajo reluctance at being photographed, dominance of EuroAmericans over Navajos, or subliminal racist overtones. After denouncing all non-Navajo photographers, the book contains only two pictures taken by Navajos, one indistinguishable in its style from the other photos in the book, and the other a very modernistic, protest-type picture of a Navajo with her census number painted on her forehead.

For those readers interested in an unbiased photographic history of the Navajo, this book isnot for you On the other hand, if you enjoy reading critical essays that bemoan the lack of 1990s political correctness in 1870s photographs and historical figures, this volume may be very appealing Just remember to bring an anthropology degree or a very good dictionary.

Book Reviews and Notices 195

t\MMM®, M M,WM Book Notices

South Pass, 1868: James Chisholm's Journal of the Wyoming Gold Rush.

Edited by LOL A M HOMSHER (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996. xi + 244 pp. Paper, $12.00.)

The Chicago Tribune first reported the discovery of gold in Utah in 1867 (Actually, the southwest corner of present Wyoming was then part of Dakota Territory.) As news flashes datelined Salt Lake City continued over the next six months, the Tribune wanted an eyewitness of its own on the scene in case the strike on the Sweetwater proved to be another Comstock It did not But Chisholm's journal is a genuine treasure of historical observations and a positive delight to read.

the heartbreak they overcame It is an excellent example of family history moving beyond that genre's narrow bounds to become excellent local history.

Covered Wagon Women: Diaries & Letters from the Western Trails, 1840-1849. Edited and compiled by KENNETH L HOLMES (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996 280 pp Paper, $12.00.)

Covered Wagon Women: Diaries & Letters from the Western Trails, 1851. Edited an d compile d by KENNETH L HOLMES . (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996. 291 pp. Paper, $13.00.)

The Arams of Idaho: Pioneers of Camas Prairie and Joseph Plains. By KRISTI M YOUNGDAHL. (Moscow: University of Idaho Press, 1995 xi + 208 pp Paper, $19.95.)

The setting of this three-generational pioneer story is Idaho County at the base of the panhandle, a remote, barely accessible area. Among the first of the region's daring settlers were Sarah andJohn Aram who came to the Camas Prairie in 1864 with their young family Based largely on family records and oral interviews, The Arams of Idaho tells the story of the determined people who once populated this region, the tasks that consumed their daily lives, the dangers they faced, and

These are reprinted from volumes 1 and 3 respectively of an eleven-volume series originally published byArthur H. Clarke. Each contains a significant diary entry from a Utah woman The thirty pages devoted to Patty Bartlett Sessions include an introduction, 1847 diary, epilogue, and bibliography. The legendary midwife delivered five babies between Omaha and Salt Lake City. Seventy pages are devoted in the 1851 volume to Jean Rio Baker, a Scottish woman, and her voyage from England and wagonjourney across the plains to Salt Lake City.

All of the women, regardless of destination, offer insights into wagon train travel and give the reader a sense of immediacy only found in first-person accounts.

/J w MM)W¥


Department ofCommunity andEconomic Development Division ofState History


PETER L. GOSS, Salt Lake City,1999 Chair

CAROL CORNWALL MADSEN, Salt Lake City,1997 Vice-Chair

MAXJ . EVANS, Salt Lake City Secretary


BOYD A. BLACKNER, Salt Lake City,1997

CRAIG M CALL, Plain City, 1997

LORI HUNSAKER, Brigham City,1997


RICHARD W. SADLER, Ogden, 1999


PAUL D. WILLIAMS, Salt Lake City,1999

JERRY WYLIE, Ogden, 1997


MAXJ EVANS, Director

WILSON G. MARTIN, Associate Director


STANFORD J LAYTON, Managing Editor

The Utah State Historical Society was organized in 1897 bypublic-spirited Utahns to collect, preserve, andpublish Utah andrelated history Today, under state sponsorship, the Society fulfills itsobligations bypublishing the Utah Historical Quarterly and other historical materials; collecting historic Utah artifacts; locating, documenting, andpreserving historic andprehistoric buildings andsites; and maintaining a specialized research library Donations and gifts to the Society's programs, museum, oritslibrary areencouraged, for only through such means canitlive up to its responsibility ofpreserving therecord ofUtah's past.

This publication has been funded with the assistance of a matching grant-in-aid from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, unde r provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended

This program receives financial assistance for identification and preservation of historic properties under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Th e U.S Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or handicap in its federally assisted programs If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire furtiher information, please write to: Office of Equal Opportunity, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240.

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